Monday, 16 January 2012

Memories of Home - Meat Balls and Mash

I think that most Irish mothers made this dish or a variation of it and for very good reason too, it's delicious. I have memories of cycling into Kilbeggan in the late 80's to the local butchers and buying a "pound of mince" and heading home to make meat balls. As children we usually ate our meat balls with pasta and tomato sauce but you can also try this recipe with curry sauce and some boiled rice if you prefer. Just to assure you, the oxtail soup isn't a very dominant flavour in this recipe, it's just like a mild gravy. I made double, cooked it right through, cooled and froze half, so I'll have a day off cooking some day soon.I took this recipe from All About Home Economics which is in daily use in this house anyway!

Serves 4

400g Minced beef
50g Breadcrumbs
1 Onion, finely grated
1 Clove garlic, chopped
1tbsp Parsley
25g Cheese, grated
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 tsp Salt
750ml Oxtail soup packet
1kg Potatoes, scrubbed and pierced

Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/Gas 4.
Place the potatoes in the oven (make sure you pierce the potatoes with a knife or a skewer otherwise they'll explode, and that takes ages to clean up!)
Mix beef, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, parsley, cheese and seasoning together in a large bowl. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Shape into about 16 balls (walnut sized).

Brown the meat balls in a large frying pan over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, drain well.

Meanwhile make up the soup as directed and set aside. Place meat balls in a large casserole, pour over the oxtail soup and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

Scoop out the baked out the potatoes and mash with butter and milk (or not!) 

Serve in the casserole with the mash and fine beans.

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