This recipe for beautifully spiced and baked Greek meatballs is delicious. Cooked in a rich tomato sauce they make a great Winter meal. At the restaurant, David serves this dish in individual dishes.
- 500 g minced pork
- 500 g minced beef
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 125 ml (½ cup) white wine
- ¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped dill
- ¼ cup roughly chopped mint leaves
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 100 g (½ cup) jasmine rice
- 2 bay leaves
- 625 ml (2½ cup) chicken stock
- plain flour, to dust
- 150 g kasseri cheese, grated (see note)
- tzatziki, finely chopped tomato, and sliced and shredded spring onion, to serve
- 810 g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place pork and beef in a large bowl. Knead until smooth. Add spices, eggs, wine and herbs and stir to combine.
Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until onion has softened. Add rice and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Stir in 375 ml stock and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium, cover tightly, and cook gently for 15 minutes or until stock is absorbed. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove lid and set aside for 15 minutes or until cool.
Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season.
Remove and discard bay leaves from rice, then add rice to mince mixture and stir to combine. Shape mixture into 32 oval-shaped meatballs and dust with flour.
Place meatballs into a deep round 24 cm ovenproof dish. Season, then ladle sauce over the meatballs. Pour over remaining 250 ml stock. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has slightly thickened. Add cheese and cook for a further 5 minutes or until melted.
Serve meatballs topped with tzatziki, chopped tomato and spring onion.
Kasseri is a semi-soft Greek sheep’s-milk cheese with a salty flavour. It is available from selected delis.
DRINK Kir Yianni Xinomavro Ramnista red wine, Naoussa, Greece
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg94.
Photography by Alan Benson and Jason Loucas