I decided this would be a really “brief beef case”. As is the recipe. There is one thing I should say, however, before the recipe itself.
If you sometimes feel unsure of the content of the meatballs you can buy, preparing them at home might cost you a bit more time, in preparation and cooking – as compared to simple purchasing them ready made, but will definitely make you feel comfortable and “ingredient content”.
For this particular recipe I used 250 g minced beef steak meat with less than 12% fat. That combined with 100g finely grated hard cheese brings on the balance as to the fat, and enhances the flavour as well. I used Parmesan, but Pecorino or even Cheddar would do very well, too.
Process the meat and cheese together, creating a nice sticky mass, into which you add spices and herbs. I used 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp mixed herbs – thyme based. With this recipe I go for a nice light Mediterranean scent, which means, containing thyme combined with oregano, sage or basil.. My mixture contains all these. As an option, you can also use a handful of fresh basil, finely chopped. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 180º C , line the baking tray with a sheet of baking paper and start shaping the meatballs – help yourself with the table spoon to get the measure and roll the meat between the palms of your hands till you get the right round shape. Gently place each ball onto the tray. Once you have them all ready, 12 pieces here, put them in the oven and roast for 15 – 20 min till dark golden all over. Turn them half-way through the cooking time.
These meat balls are light, tasty and quite flexible in their serving use – can be wrapped in tortilla and salad rolls, with chips & ketchup or dressing, or couscous and sauces. Here I served them with Pappardelle pasta, accompanied with fresh tomato and basil vinaigrette dressing. Although I mostly use Papardelle for rather saucy dishes, here they were more of a family choice of the moment, and we liked them that way, too.
Hope you will like them. You know what goes in them, they don’t take long to make and can be easily prepared on work days, as well as busy weekends. We like them cold as well, they’re great for picnics.