A multitude of meatballs

Another weekend, another lazy day. It started off well as James decided to make crepes for breakfast although we didn’t have any lemon juice so it was plain sugar crepes for me. Later on, we got to enjoy some matcha with a nice sweet from Minato Kitchen that we had brought the previous day, these sweets are small for £1.50 however they taste amazing and the fruit flavour doesn’t taste artificial at all.

To continue the food trend, we decided to make meatballs as we have none left in the freezer. We took a trip to Tesco’s and were ready to make a big batch.

Mighty meatballs of deliciousness
Mighty meatballs of deliciousness

Ingredients (makes 60 small meatballs)

Sauce

  • 3 small onions
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (we like it very garlicky)
  • 1 chilli
  • Bottle of red wine (essential and even we don’t cheap out on this)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
  • Beef stock (2 cubes)
  • Basil (a few generous teaspoons)
  • Oregano (also a few generous teaspoons)
  • Carrots (5-6 sticks, grated)

Meatballs

  • 3 tbsp fine white breadcrumbs
  • Milk (enough to fully soak breadcrumbs)
  • Garlic (a few cloves)
  • 500 g minced beef (15% fat)
  • 500 g minced pork (5% fat)
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)
  • Onion powder (1 tsp)
  • Paprika (1 tbsp)
  • Parsley (a few generous teaspoons)
  • Parmesan (to taste)
  • Flour, to dust

Method

  1. Put breadcrumbs into a bowl, pour just enough milk to cover and leave to soak.
  2. To make the tomato sauce, heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic and chilli until soft.
  3. Splosh in a fair amount of the wine, then add all the tomatoes along with the basil, oregano, carrots and some seasoning. Let the sauce simmer to reduce and thicken and then add beef stock.
  4. While the tomato sauce is cooking, prepare the meatballs. Put the minced beef and pork into a large bowl and add the garlic, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and parmesan. Squeeze the breadcrumbs to remove excess milk, then add to the bowl. Mix well, using your hands, and season with salt and pepper. (Don’t scrunch it up too much or you will lose the texture and the meatballs will be too dense.)
  5. Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  6. Shape the mixture into balls, the size of a thumb (James’ thumb), and dust in flour. Use the first one as a standard measure (i.e. make sure all others are vaguely the same size as it).
  7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. When hot, fry the meatballs, in batches, until golden.
  8. Deglaze using the remaining wine.
  9. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce . Bake in the oven for an hour or so.
  10. Serve with spaghetti
Step 1 - soak breadcrumbs in milk
Step 1 – soak breadcrumbs in milk
Make the sauce
Make the sauce
Handy tip - we use pre-grated frozen parmesan
Handy tip – grate all the parmesan then store it in the freezer
Meatball conveyor belt production
Meatball conveyor belt production
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Matcha cupcakes

After a leisurely lie in and a hearty breakfast involving porridge and home-grown raspberries, we decided to make matcha cupcakes for a dessert and treat feast we will be attending later today.

I had already decided that we would make matcha cupcakes as we still somehow have matcha left over from our travels.

Matcha cupcakes mmmmmmm
Matcha cupcakes mmmmmmm

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

Cupcake

  • 110g butter  softened at room temperature
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Icing

  • 200g icing sugar
  • a few grams of matcha (for colour and some flavour)
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare 12-hole cake tin with paper cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale.
  3. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Fold in the flour, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Put the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes (13 in our example), or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
  6. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Sieve icing sugar and matcha into a big bowl. Add a little water at a time until a thick spreading consistency. Put onto cupcakes and add sprinkles to decorate.
    Butter it up
    Butter it up
    The creaming begins, luckily with have a kmix to do it for us
    The creaming begins, luckily with have a kmix to do it for us
    Flour and most importantly, matcha
    Flour and most importantly, matcha
    An ice cream scoop makes it easy to put it into the cases
    An ice cream scoop makes it easy to put it into the cases

    Easy icing (we found buttercream didn't work so well with these cupcakes)
    Easy icing (we found buttercream didn’t work so well with these cupcakes)