This week is Bramley Apple Week (3rd-9th February 2013) so I have been experimenting with some of my favourite recipes with the addition of apple. We have meatballs every month and I flavour them with herbs, spices and other seasonings according to the weather, what is in season and what tickles the tastebuds on that particular day. Sometimes we have lamb meatballs flavoured with mint and harisssa paste, other times pork with sage and chopped yellow peppers. We do however tend to always have beef with onion, garlic and chopped mixed herbs. So the recipe today rings the changes on the usual beef option. Here I have used coarsely grated Bramley apples with dried sage (although if you prefer to use fresh please do) cooked in a simple sauce of passata/crushed tomatoes that is flavoured with onion and garlic and then more apple. Again feel free to use plain passata if you prefer or push the boat out with the new passata with basil or passata with peppers and chilli varieties. All taste great with a serving of freshly cooked pasta if you can tolerate it or ‘courgette/zucchini pasta’ ribbons.
BEEF AND BRAMLEY MEATBALLS
450g/1 lb (about 3) Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
450g/1 lb extra lean minced/ground beef
75g/11/2 cups soft fresh breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried sage
1 egg yolk, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
low-fat cooking spray
700g/1lb 8 oz bottle passata/crushed tomatoes with onion and garlic
1. Coarsely grate the apple and place half in a large bowl. Add the minced/ground beef, breadcrumbs, sage, egg yolk and salt and pepper to taste. Use clean hands to bind the mixture together then divide and shape into about 32 small balls.
2. Generously spritz a large non-stick frying pan or skillet with the low-fat spray. Heat, then add the meatballs and fry over a high heat for about 6-8 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally until golden brown on all sides.
3. Add the remaining apple and stir well. Add the passata and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Serve hot with freshly cooked pasta if liked.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
* suitable for freezing
CALORIES: 30 g
Image courtesy of Bramley Apples www.bramleyapples.co.uk