July 8th, 2021
Meatballs are an often requested dinner in our house. Today I share a baked version that is quite revolutionary as there is no browning required on the stovetop. Simply mix, roll and bake.
The meatballs are served with a creamy tahini sauce. Tahini is one of my favourite pantry ingredients and can add a creaminess that often comes from dairy products – something I limit in my cooking due to my sons dairy intolerance. As he has got older he can handle small quantities of dairy and is OK with butter, but I am always looking for ways to minimise it in our meals.
Not everyone is a fan of tahini (and I have included a variation below) as it has a slightly bitter taste. This can be minimised by sourcing fresh tahini. In my experience, tahini in a jar stored at room temperature can become rancid, giving it a more pronounced bitter taste. Also, ‘unhulled’ tahini is stronger in flavour, so I always go for ‘hulled’ tahini. Tahini can sometimes be found in the chilled section at the supermarket (and I always store it in the fridge at home) or source from a bulk food store that has a quick turnover.
The Food Show – Auckland
I am thrilled to be invited to present at The Food Show in Auckland on Thursday 29th July (2.45 – 3.30 pm). I will be preparing my signature sourdough crumpets and some tasty toppings. Plus sharing some tips and tricks to maintaining a healthy sourdough starter (the key to great bread). If you are in Auckland come and say hi – find more details here.
+ Keep an eye out on my Instagram feed next week for a double pass giveaway.
Baked Meatballs with Tahini Sauce
- 500 g premium beef or lamb mince
- 1 carrot, grated
- handful finely chopped coriander or parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup rolled oats - choose the smaller porridge oats
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- pinch of chilli flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g tomato passata or 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tahini
- juice of half a lemon
- about ⅓ cup water
- small clove of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 210C (fan 190C).
In a mixing bowl combine the mince, carrot, herbs, egg, oats, spices and salt. Use your hands or a spoon to thoroughly combine. Check seasoning by making a small pattie and cooking it in a hot pan until brown on both sides. Taste, then adjust the mixture with extra salt if needed.
Roll the meatball mixture into small walnut-sized balls. Arrange in an oven dish in a single layer with a little space between each - I used a 30cm cast iron frying pan.
Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and place the dish into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the meatballs are sealed - there will be some cooking liquid in the base of the pan at this stage. Pour over the passata or chopped tomatoes and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
While the meatballs are cooking make the tahini sauce. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, adding an extra splash of water if required to loosen. Check the taste, and adjust with extra lemon juice or salt if needed.
Serve the hot meatballs with the tahini sauce on the side, accompanied by sautéed broccoli and cooked quinoa or rice to soak up the sauce.
*Recipe first published 12th June 2021 on Stuff.co.nz.