Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Meatballs in Goulash Sauce

Here is another one for the comfort food vault.  As the Ragu we made recently only used a small amount of beef and pork mince there was some left over in the fridge.  The first thing that comes to my mind when mixing minced meats is meatballs.  Generally speaking when meatballs are an option I tend to choose them so this seemed a perfect opportunity to try something a little different.  I say different because this recipe uses a goulash sauce rather than a straightforward tomato sauce which is normally how I have them.

Delia's Smith's Winter Collection has been sat on the table for a couple of weeks now and this is the first attempt at a recipe.  It seems a bit strange to be talking about winter and comfort food seeing as the weather is so good at the moment - but the weather will certainly turn soon and this will be a nice little warmer for the family.

Meatballs in Goulash Sauce

I have taken the recipe almost word for word.  I didn't have Hungarian paprika so used normal and I substituted the bread for a slice Genius gluten-free bread (for the crumbs).

What you will need:

350g minced beef
350g minced pork
Half a red pepper (finely chopped) - save rest for sauce
Half a medium onion - save rest for sauce
1 fat clove of garlic (crushed)
2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley
50g breadcrumbs
1 egg (beaten)
1 Tablespoon of seasoned flour
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon of Hungarian paprika
Half a medium onion
Half a red pepper
1 clove of garlic
450g ripe tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
100 ml creme fraiche
Pinch of paprika
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper

First make the meatballs.  I made about 20 using these proportions.  In a large bowl mix the meats, parsley, chopped pepper, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs and some seasoning.  Make sure they are mixed thoroughly

Taking about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time, squeeze and roll into a ball.  Then coat each one lightly with the seasoned flour.

Brown the meatballs in batches and set aside, leaving the remnants in the casserole to use for the sauce.

Next make the sauce.  Heat the oil and add the onion and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes longer.  Add the paprika and stir.  Then add the tomatoes and season.
Bring to a simmer and add the meatballs to the sauce.
Put in the middle of the oven at 140c for 1.5 hours

Just before serving, carefully stir through the creme fraiche and garnish with parsley and a little paprika.

We served it with rice but it would be more authentic to serve it with noodles or pasta.

This was a lovely dish but there are a couple of things to note and a few changes we would make for our own personal taste.  Firstly make sure you add enough paprika - due to the way the recipe was written, we missed the tablespoon quantity and guessed at what she suggested as a little paprika - seemingly it wasn't enough.  Also I didn't season the meatballs enough, 20-24 meatballs is a fair amount to cook without stock so I would suggest quite heavy seasoning before cooking. 

We felt the dish was tastier heated up the next day as we added a sprinkle of crushed dried chilli before putting in the oven again.  This livened it up nicely and if I try it again I may put some spice in the dish before cooking (possibly chopped and put into the meatball mix).

Enjoy - this is a dish that can easily be adapted to your own personal preference - but if you keep the paprika and cream and you will still get the goulash effect.

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