Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meat sauces & meatballs

Making meat sauce is quite easy, to make a good sauce it's all about layers of flavour.

Begin with a big pot or dutch oven.

Add oil to coat the bottom and brown your meat very well (until you see brown bits on the bottom of the pot, this is all flavour!)

Season every step of the way, so season your meat a bit with salt and pepper.
You should season your next step of veggies too.

Remove the ground beef and add chopped vegetables to the pot, minced onion, green peppers (or redpeppers too!) Mushrooms are nice too!

Add the garlic after these have sweated down.

Now it's time for the tomato paste, this needs to be browned to remove the raw flavour (No need for seasoning here). Caramelize it well in the oil with the other vegetables then add the meat back in.

Now it's time for the liquid to go in and the sauce to simmer. I like to add a tsp of sugar to remove the acidity from the tomato and a splash of balsamic vinegar (or Worcestershire sauce) for depth.

Let the sauce simmer and bubble away until it is tender and smells great.

Now believe it or not but the image above is not meat, it's actually a vegan soy meat so you can make great sauce without meat just substitute the ground beef for a refrigerated ground meat alternative or textured veg protein (the dry kind at your bulk store)
Omit the meat browning stage and just add it in before simmering.

Flavour the sauce with fresh basil or oregano and enjoy with your favourite pasta.

For a meatball recipe mix up the following:

Mince meat (preferably with some fat but if not just add some soft butter into it)


Dijon (or any mustard)

Bread crumbs

Chopped parsley

Soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce

1 egg (why the heck didn’t we use the extra yolks?!)

Garlic powder (or fresh garlic) and chopped onion (if everyone is ok with this)

Black pepper

Salt (keep in mind soy sauce is salty)

Knead it like crazy and form balls.

Bake briefly until browned or better to fry up in a pan to grown each side.

Once your sauce is done add the meatballs, and if you'd like you could forgo the whole browning and just poach the meatballs in your bubbling tomato sauce.

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