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Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

The Greeks may have a troublesome economy but their meatballs will bring a smile to your face! Lamb is the traditional meat to use in a delicious tomato sauce.

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Greek Meatballs

INGREDIENTS - MEATBALLS

500g / 1lb 20z minced lamb
3 slice thick white bread (without crusts)
1 medium egg
1 medium onion
2 garlic gloves
2 tablespoons of flour (plain or self raising)
Half a level teaspoon of died oregano
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley (plus a little extra as garnish)
Quarter teaspoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of olive oil (not extra virgin)
Salt and pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS - TOMATO SAUCE

1 medium onion
400g / 14oz can of chopped tomatoes
150ml / ΒΌ pint of lamb or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 heaped teaspoon of sugar (any)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients forSlow Cooker Greek Meatballs
Ingredients for Greek Meatballs
 

PREPARATION TIME

:
40 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling

COOKING TIME

:
1 hour high then 5 hour low (or 7 hours low).

DIFFICULTY

:
Medium

FREEZE

?
Yes

SERVINGS

:
4 portions

COOKING EQUIPMENT

:
Slow cooker, large frying pan, large mixing bowl.

PREPARATION

Remove the crusts from the bread, tear the bread into pieces and let them soak in a small amount of water for three minutes. Squeeze excess water from the bread.
Lightly beat the egg.
Peel, top and tail the onions then very finely chop it. It's essential not to have any large pieces of chopped onion, these would make the meatballs fall apart more easily.
Peel, top and tail then finely chop the garlic cloves.
Finely chop the parsley.

COOK'S NOTES FOR GREEK MEATBALLS IN THE SLOW COOKER

These meatballs are delicious when slow cooked, the meat really takes on the flavour of the rich tomato sauce. It's best to use lamb for meat but minced beef makes a reasonable substitute.

It's quite possible to make the meatballs and fry them the evening before cooking. Simply store the fried meatballs in the fridge overnight. The next morning add them to the tomato sauce to warm them up slightly and then add to the slow cooker.

Recipe by .

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1

Place the lamb, onion (only the one for the meatballs), garlic, soaked bread, egg, oregano, chopped parsley and cumin in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper then, using your hands, thoroughly mix up all the ingredients.

Separate the mixture into four roughly equal portions and form four meatballs from each portion. Each meatball will be about the size of a golf ball. Wet hands will make forming the meatballs much easier. Roll each meatball in the flour and then place in the fridge for at least half an hour.

STEP 2

Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and then fry the meatballs for seven minutes, turning them frequently, until they are browned. Unless you have a massive frying pan you will need to do this in two batches.

Remove the meatballs from the frying pan and place to one side, leaving the meat juices in the pan.

STEP 3

For the tomato sauce, add the remaining half of the onions to the frying pan (still on a medium heat) and fry for five minutes turning them a couple of times.

Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, tomato puree and stock then turn the heat up slightly and cook for a minute or so until the sauce boils. Season with salt and pepper.

 

STEP 4

Turn the slow cooker to high and pour in the hot tomato sauce. Gently transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker so as not to break them apart.

Cook on a high heat for one hour then turn the heat down to low and cook for a further five hours.

Serve hot with a salad and lots of crusty bread. A crisp white wine goes well or alternatively chilled apple juice.

 Greek meatballs in a bowl
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Copyright 2006 - 17 David Marks. All rights reserved.