Meatballs have got to be one of the finest vehicles for meat – not only can you put them in to a rich sauce but if you make them mighty enough they can more than stand up on their own.
I like my meatballs with an extra surprise thrown in – and what better surprises are there than spicy chilli and a secret cheesy stuffing? This quick and easy recipe has all of these wonderful things, so here are my very simple instructions to meaty-cheesy bliss.
You will need:
500g lean pork mince (turkey also works if you want to be healthier!)
40g feta cheese
4 tablespoons of sage and onion stuffing mix
1 egg yolk
1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
First of all, boil the kettle and add a small amount of water to the stuffing mix – you want it to be fairly firm but smooth enough to be able to mix in with the mince. Now chuck your mince into a bowl, season and throw in the egg yolk, chopped chilli and stuffing mix.
Give it all a good stir so that it’s all mixed together nicely – you want it to be a dense mix so that it will all hold together when cooking; if it’s not binding enough add some more stuffing mix, breadcrumbs, grated parmesan (bonus cheese!) or an extra egg yolk until you get the consistency you want. I also chucked in a bit of Tabasco, mustard and Worcestershire sauce for a bit of extra flavour, but this is up to you. Now put the mix in the fridge to chill for a little bit – this will make it easier to shape into balls.
Once the mix has chilled for a bit, take it out and start forming it in to balls – you want them to be roughly golf ball-sized, but again this is up to you; I just like them bigger so I can stuff them with more cheese, the glutton that I am. Once the balls are the right size, pull them apart slightly and poke a finger-full of feta in to the centre, then close the ball back over again, sealing the cheese inside. Goats cheese, mozzarella, cheddar and most other cheeses would work, I just like the texture and flavour of feta, plus it’s healthier than many cheeses and holds together well in the heat so you don’t get so much seeping out of the meatballs during cooking.
Now, heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs on a high heat for around 5 mins on each side. Whilst this is happening, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5/200 degrees.
Once the meatballs are browned on each side, put them on a baking tray and chuck in the oven for a further 20 minutes. You can use this time to cook and prepare your accompanying munch, or watch a few YouTube videos of cats drinking from sinks.
Once the meatballs are ready, serve with pasta and a simple tomato sauce, or like I did with couscous and veg. Or chuck them in a roll or a pitta and carry it around like a proud trophy of meat and cheese delight. Enjoy!