Week 56: Chilli Con Carne Meatballs

When I told my lover I was making this recipe a look of horror crossed his face and he said those immortal words “you’re not going to attempt it in 15 minutes are you?”

Yep, that’s right, I’m having another bash at something from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals. And no, I was not going to attempt it in 15 minutes (but I would still use every single utensil I own, as are the rules).  I’ve been making the bulgur wheat part of this recipe for a while, as an alternative to rice with other chilli; without the lemon though as it makes it taste a bit like a Yankee Candle…

To make this for four you will need: 300g bulgur wheat, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick, 400g lean beef mince, garam masala, olive oil, 3 jarred red peppers, 4 spring onions, smoked paprika, 700g passata (I couldn’t find a 700g jar so I think I used 675g or something like that), bunch of coriander, 400g tin of kidney beans, cumin seeds, and fat free yoghurt and a lime to serve.

I won’t write down the meathod as written in the book, because I didn’t follow it and it came out fine. To start get your liquidiser out and add the jarred peppers, three of the spring onions, a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika, the passata, half the coriander and some salt and pepper and blitz it until it’s a smooth paste.

meatballs10

Next, wash your hands and squash up the mince, salt, pepper, and a heaped teaspoon of garam masala. Next (and this seems to pie the important bit) wet your hands and divide the meat into 16 balls and rub them round into a ball shape and put them on a plate and put the kettle on.

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Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and measure out 300g (a mug-full) of the bulgur wheat.  Add 2 mug-fulls of boiling water, a preserved lemon, a cinnamon stick and the the bulgur wheat to a medium pan (medium heat) and put the lid on. This needs to cook for about 15 minutes.

bulgurwheat

Add the meatballs to the hot frying pan one or two at a time, and toss-roll the around each time you add them which seems to make them rounder… which is strange… Let them brown for about 5 minutes, rolling quite often to keep them cooking evenly.   Heat another pan and pour in the sauce from the liquidiser (slosh the liquidiser jug around with some water and add this to the sauce).

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Drain and rinse the kidney beans and add them to the frying pan with the meatballs with a pinch of cumin seeds and after a minute or so transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce with your trusty kitchen tongues – leave the kidney beans to cook for a bit longer before stirring them into the sauce too.

meatballs13

By now the bulgur wheat should be done (as in all the water has evaporated and you’re left with wheat, the cinnamon stick and the lemon), remove the cinnamon and then mash the lemon into the wheat.  Plate it up with a dollop of yoghurt, some coriander and the other spring onion chopped up decoratively.

meatballs16

It was very chilli-ish; the sauce was like a slightly hot tomato sauce – maybe it needed more paprika and longer to simmer. Maybe a bit more garam masala for the meatballs too? But the meatballs were a resounding success for the first time ever they were smooth and rounded and cooked like balls instead of lumps of knobbly meat. I might miss the coriander out next time too… Definitely one to make again, but not in 15 minutes!

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2 comments

    1. Hehe thank you! I tried for 15 minutes when I made the first recipe (Harissa meatballs) and failed miserably, but I’ve found that if I do all the preparation-y bits first I can cook them in 15 minutes (and then an hour of washing up)
      They were really tasty though 🙂

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