I have to confess, the first time I made this, quite a few years back, I made it with ready bought Swedish meatballs that we used to love but…. they were ready made. Not to be compared in the slightest with the homemade ones.
Any meat can be used and I do sometimes use turkey mince or chicken that I mince myself manually by using a meat mincer.
Chilli con meatballs a la Ramona’s Cuisine
For the meatballs:
- 400 g mince meat I use beef 5%
- 1 onion
- 1 potato
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg whole
- 1 egg yolk
- Few springs of herbs thyme, parsley, marjoram
For the Sauce:
- 400 g red kidney beans 1 can
- 400 g chopped tomatoes 1 can
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1/2 small leek
- 1 small onion
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp dried marjoram
- 120 g grated cheddar optional
- Plain boiled long grain rice to serve with
- Soured cream to serve (optional)
- 1 Thai red chilli to decorate optional
To make the meatballs:
- Use a bigger bowl into which you need to put the mince meat, super finely chopped onion * (see recipe notes) together with all the other ingredients for the meat balls listed above which are the potato (finely grated and squeezed slightly to reduce the juice slightly),
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped, freshly ground black pepper, the whole egg and the yolk and the fresh and/or dry herbs (thyme, parsley, marjoram)
Sauce and dish prep :
- Prepare your vegetables by washing all all, peel the onion and the garlic. Chop the onion and dice the pepper by first cutting it into half lengthways, remove the stalk and shake the seeds away, then chop. Finely dice the celery by cutting the sticks into 2-3 strips lengthwise then chop. Do the same with the leek. Crush and finely chop the garlic cloves.
- Place a deep pan on the hob over a medium heat, add the olive oil, allow it to heat up for about 30 seconds, add the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 min stirring a few times until the onions are soft, slightly squidgy and begin to become translucent.
- Tip in the garlic, the red pepper, the hot or mild chilli powder, the paprika and the ground cumin. Give it a good old stir, then leave it to cook for another 4 minutes, stirring every now and again.
- Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 150ml hot water. Pour this into the pan where the semi cooked vegetables are.
- Open the chopped tomatoes can and add these to the veggies along with the dried marjoram, honey, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and the tomato purée. Stir well.
- Allow the sauce to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven at 200°C.
- Add the beans and the fresh herbs and transfer the sauce into 1 or into 4 individual oven proof dish/es. Sink all or 4-5 meatballs into each dish.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Take out of the oven, add the shredded cheddar cheese and place back in the oven for an extra 10 min.
- If you choose not to use the cheddar cheese, serve with soured cream alongside plain, long grain boiled rice.