Monday, March 09, 2009

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs on Rice

This was inspired by something I remember Rosemary telling me about (I'm sure it was Rosemary...). I tried finding the recipe but with no luck, so had to make it up as I went along.

I found half a kilo of mince in the freezer so thought I'd make a bolognese and cook some pasta. Then I realised I really, really didn't want that again. I haven't had it in ages, but the mood just wasn't on me. Cue the memory of Rosemary's meatballs. I'm fairly sure she used pork and feta, but I didn't have any of those. So here's what I did. I'm sure fresh herbs would have been much tastier, but I had to work with what was in the pantry.

a little oil
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 tin diced tomatoes
a smattering of mixed dried herbs
an extra smattering of dried basil
1-2 tbl tomato paste
a shake of chilli powder
500g mince
2 slices multi-grain bread, reduced to crumbs
1 egg
8 small cubes of vintage cheddar cheese (the bitier the better)
extra grated cheddar

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Lightly cook the garlic for a minute then add the tomatoes. Stir over a medium heat until hot, then add the herbs, tomato paste and chilli. Stir for another minute then switch off the heat.

Mix the mince together with the breadcrumbs and egg. Take a knob of mixture and lay it out on your palm. Place a cube of cheese in the middle then fold the meat around to make a ball. Place this in a greased casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining mince and cheese (I got 8 medium-sized balls).

Once the meatballs are in the dish pour over the sauce. Top with a generous smattering of grated cheese, then throw it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Just before the meatballs are done, cook up some rice. Throw a bed of rice on the plate, top with a couple of meatballs and some of the sauce.

I also did a few veg to round out the meal a bit, but they wouldn't have looked all that photogenic :-) This tasted so incredibly nice. A shame the pic is a little blurry.... but you get the idea. After I took it I tried to slice open one of the balls to show you the melted cheese centre, but it didn't work all that well.


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