Meatballs and big batch cooking go hand in hand and are always a welcome addition to any MamaBake session. The only limitation is the size of your bowl! If you’re going to be throwing in all manner of ingredients and that’s about it for prep, then why not make a big batch? I like to prepare a batch of the mix, divide it into quarters, then freeze in batches, ready to be rolled and cooked.
You don’t have to make these egg free; I’m by no means ‘anti-egg’ or allergic, but I do have an affection for the little chia seed and a big bag of them to use up in my larder! If you do use egg, just replace the 2 chia eggs with two whole eggs, lightly beaten.
This is a really flexible and adaptable recipe. Feel free to substitute dry sage or any other herb you like. You could also change the mustard to a hot English for a little extra zing!
I chop everything in the food processor, shrinking the prep time down to mere minutes! If you feel the urge for some quality kitchen meditation, grab a knife and chop the onions, apple and garlic etc by hand.
(makes around 80 meatballs – 20 per family)
1kg pork mince
2 chia eggs (2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 6 tablespoons water until they gel)
2 red apples – peeled, cored and quartered.
2 red onions – peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves – peeled
4 fresh sage leaves or 2 tsp dried.
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Prepare the chia eggs and set aside
In a food processor, add the onion, apple, garlic and sage. Pulse until finely chopped and combined.
Break up the mince in a large bowl.
Add the onion/apple mix along with the chia, honey, Dijon and Parmesan.
Season with salt and pepper
At this point, you can divide the mix and put in labeled zip lock bags for freezing.
If you’d like to cook a batch immediately, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan.
Roll the mix into smallish meatballs and fry until golden on all sides.
You could then add a lovely simple tomato sauce or, if you’re in a real hurry as I normally am, just throw a tin of diced tomatoes over the lot and simmer until it thickens slightly and the meatballs are cooked.
Serve on a bed of rice (Really? ‘a bed’ of rice? Why must even my recipes mock my sleepless “Good grief! I need a lie down.” state of being?) or noodles and sprinkle with parsley. Feel free to throw in a little chef-like flourish as you sprinkle and, for no other reason than it’s hilarious, exclaim ‘Ta Da!’ as you do so.
This recipe was adapted from “Pork, Apple and Thyme Meatballs” from Issue 50 Autumn of Donna Hay magazine