Saturday, 2 May 2015

Spicy Meatballs, 60 p per portion

I watch very little TV as I'm too tired at the end of the day, but sometimes on Saturday mornings I catch up with my guilty pleasures like OBEM (I know, I shouldn't), 24 hours in A&E, The Hotel Inspector, NCIS or an Island Parish. And anything cookery.  (I leave University Challenge to watch with the husband as it's one of the few things we like watching together).

So this morning found me watching Rick Stein in Morocco making spicy  meatballs and it got me thinking.  I had some mince in the freezer (bought from the reduced shelf for £1.28) and plenty of veg in the fridge. Rick's version had loads of oil and eggs on top so I changed it a bit and this is what we had, served with spaghetti and a simple side salad.  It was lush.  Even if you buy full-price mince it only works out at 60p a portion (everything is made with value range products where possible).

How to make my spicy meatballs,  serves 6 hungry people

Pre-heat the oven to 140c.

Into the food processor, sling the following and chop up finely but not to a mush:

  • 3 sticks celery
  • 3 value range carrots (don't bother peeling)
  • 2 value range medium sized onions
  • 1 value range red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in an ovenproof casserole dish (though you could use plain veg oil if you're on a budget) and add the chopped veg, leaving to saute on a medium heat for about 10 mins.  

Add, stir and simmer:
  • 1 tin value range chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pack value range passata
  • 1 tbsp sugar (you need this to counter the sharpness of the tinned tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
Take a packet of mince (I used Morrison's Savers Beef and Pork mince from the reduced shelf for £1.28 but it's only £1.82 at full price.  You could use lean or extra lean if you want to reduce the fat but it will push the price up considerably). Place the mince in a bowl, add the following and mix well:

  •  tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
Form into small balls and drop into the tomato sauce.  Stir round gently then cover with a lid and cook in the oven on a low heat for 1-2 hours until really tender and delicious.  If the sauce gets too thick, just before you serve with spaghetti, loosen the sauce with some of the drained pasta water.

Serve with spaghetti, rice or bread, and sprinkle with chopped coriander or parsely and fresh chillies if you like them.

Even with the spaghetti and salad it's well under £1 a head.

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