Midweek Meatballs

Hello October!

Hello October is right! Isn’t it just lovely? I love this time of year I may have mentioned. I’m a walker. Love getting out early with the dogs and pounding the roads. A good buddy of mine had a fun thing up on instagram yesterday – “When are you too old to pull leaves off the trees. Asking for a friend”. I say never. Leaves crunching underfoot and crumbling in your hands because I spend my walk pulling at the ditches. Love it. Anyway that’s a by the by.

The Overdue Books

I was chatting to one of the school mammies in the library the other day. She has just decided to take a break from her job for a while – stepped off the treadmill. She was saying how she didn’t realise how much of a treadmill it was until she stepped off it. I don’t know about you but this really hit a cord with me. I was just after returning overdue books to the library in shame. Thankfully I met with a lovely librarian who didn’t add to my shame. It was on my to do list for about two weeks but we never made it and therefore I felt, as us mothers do, that the children ability to read would be stunted for life. It isn’t I’m sure but the mothers guilt is a strong one.  I have had the luxury of spending the early years at home with my lads. It was great and I realise it’s a privilege. But it’s not always the easy option. At times, if I’m truly honest I found it frustrating and dare I say even boring. But when they were small I wasn’t able for the dual status that is a working mother and we choose for me to step out. I was very very lucky. But now as the Nina is gone to big school and the baby is well settled in school, I can see that in the future, I might find myself twiddling my thumbs. I’d really hate that!!

Work

I’ve recently started a new project and it’s time consuming but I’m enjoying it. This only adds to the guilt because I’ve to spend a lot of time at the computer. What’s the story with the guilt? Because I’m busy I think I make more of an effort to make time count. The old adage – if you want something done ask a busy person. I think we should ease off on ourselves. Everyone is trying their best and even sometimes we’re just getting it over the line. It’s grand!! My wiser and much much older sister’s words are ringing in my ears – They all get reared! It’ll be grand!!

So that leads me on to my meatballs recipe that I used this week – only because Julian gave out that I never make him meatballs anymore…. and then guiltily, I rush to fulfill his every wish!! There’s that guilt again.!!

Great midweek supper though.

Meatballs

Ingredients

This is two dinners – (freeze the meatballs made up and defrost and cook as below or cook them, put them in the sauce and just defrost and reheat!!)

3lbs of mince beef  

300gs of breadcrumbs or finely crushed up cream crackers

2 grated onions

A jar of good quality pesto

200g of mozzarella cheese grated .

Method

Squish everything together – if you don’t like doing this get clean handed children to do it. They love it – also very good to develop those hand muscles!! Brilliant mother – halo!!

Roll into golf ball size – kids also do this. On a hot pan, add meatballs in batches, turning frequently so all sides are sealed. You can also popped them on a baking tray at 180 for about 20 minutes. Cover with tomato sauce and pop into a preheated oven at 180 for about half an hour or until they’re cooked through. It’s nice here to tear up a mozzarella ball and scatter over them before you put them in the oven but not necessary.

The Sauce

I batch cook the tomato sauce because I use it during the week. This recipe will do at least two dinners and sauce for pizzas at the weekend. The sauce itself can be added to cooked pasta for a quick dinner. To make it more luscious add a tub of mascarpone cheese. Heat up and add to pasta. I use this in my Chicken Parmigiana recipe too (will share soon).

It’s simple.

Saute two or three chopped onions for about ten minutes, add three cloves of chopped garlic and cook for about a minute. Then add 5 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes – plums are sweeter I think. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato puree. Add optionals like a splash of balsamic vinegar or basil leaves if you have them. I often add cherry tomatoes that never made the lunch box, or came home in the lunch box uneaten. Season and let cook for about 1 ½ hours. Blitz it all down and you have loads of sauce for whenever you need. This does freeze but it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks two. Thin it out with a vegetable stock for soup too.

Enjoy,

The Butchers Wife. xx