Joe’s Big Meaty Balls (Serves 4)

I’ve combined both beef and lamb mince in this recipe and it works so well. It gives the meatballs much more flavour. I think once you try these you’ll be coming back for more.


500g lamb mince
250g beef mince
50g breadcrumbs
1 egg
12 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
20g pine nuts, roughly chopped
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 jarred red peppers (about 100g), drained and roughly chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
2 x 110g balls of mozzarella
mint leaves, roughly chopped
salad or steamed green beans

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the lamb and beef mince in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. 
Crack in the egg and chuck in the olives, pine nuts, chopped parsley and red peppers.
Get your hands stuck in and knead all the ingredients together until the mixture is well combined. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 12 large balls and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan over a medium-to-high heat. When the oil is hot, chuck in the red onion and fry, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes. 
Tip in the chopped tomatoes along with a quarter tin of water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes, then carefully flip them over with a large spoon. 
Tear up the mozzarella balls and lay a little piece on top of each meatball. Any remaining cheese can be scattered in the sauce.
Slide your pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top. 
Scatter over the mint leaves and remaining chopped parsley and serve with a helping of salad or steamed green beans.

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