Bertie's Balls™ ~ Meatballs in red wine sauce
Sorry about calling them Berties Balls but he insisted. This recipe makes 12 quite large balls, so you only really want 2-3 balls per serving. You can use this recipe to make smaller balls if you prefer, but they'll be much juicier if they're a bit bigger.
450 grams of beef mince
450 grams of pork mince
Panko breadcrumbs, or blitz up your own stale bread.
1 small/medium onion, grated
2/3 cloves of grated garlic
1 egg for binding
Big handful of parmesan or any other hard cheese
Lemon zest (1 lemons worth)
Dried herbs like basil or oregano
Chopped up basil stalks
For The Sauce
Half bottle of red Italian wine
Whole tinned tomatoes
Add your mince, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, and egg with some salt and pepper (plus any extras you might be using) to a large bowl and mix together using your hands.
Once mixed, shape into 12, evenly sized balls. They will be big. You can opt to do more balls, slightly smaller, but bigger is better 👀.
To help them set, pop them in the fridge for anything up to a day, but half an hour will do. This is totally optional, but it will help.
Put a deep lidded pan, cast iron or casserole dish on a medium / high heat
Add a glug of olive oil.
Start frying your meatballs in batches. Unless you have an enormous pan, do 3-4 at a time.
Remove once they are golden/deep brown. They don't need to be cooked all the way through at this point. You finish them in the sauce.
Once all your meatballs are fried off, turn down the heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and if the pan looks a little dry, add some more oil, and fry for a couple minutes, mixing it around with the fat, scraping up any stuck bits.
Turn the heat back up, and pour in half bottle of Italian (not too expensive, but good enough to drink) red wine.
Reduce down by about half, making sure the tomato puree is mixed in.
Once you have a syrup-like texture, that coats the back of the spoon, add in blitzed tomatoes.
Turn down the heat to medium / low and wait until the tomatoes are heated through.
Once the tomatoes are up to temperature, add your meatballs back in. They should be covered or at least almost. If they're not, top up with a little water or stock.
Pop a lid on and reduce to a low heat and allow to cook for at least an hour, until the sauce thickens.
Serve by either stirring through pasta, on top of rice, or with some greens on the side.