On Mondays We #Meatball

Monday Night Family Meatballs

This may not look all that glamorous, but who cares when it's tasty AF, filling and feeds the kids as well as the grown ups. It's a cheeky little mid-week number that packs a punch and even gives you left overs for lunch the next day...hell yes! 

Serves 4  //  Prep time: 15 mins  // Cook time: 30 mins


  • 500g quality, lean British mince beef
  • Generous lug of olive oil
  • 1 x free range egg
  • 1 x medium sized brown onion, diced
  • 2 x garlic cloves, minced
  • 350g (approx half of a standard jar) Passata
  • 1/2 cup of sour dough bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup of English mature cheddar, grated
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Splash of Balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 356 F / Gas Mark 4
  2. Put a medium sized saucepan on a medium heat and add the diced onion and garlic with the lug of olive oil. Cook low and slow for approx. 10-15 minutes to soften & sweeten but not brown the onions. Stirring often to ensure they don't stick to the pan or burn.
  3. Meanwhile, in a glass / ceramic bowl combine the mince beef, breadcrumbs, egg, gruyere and a generous pinch of sea salt flakes and pepper. Mix with your hands and roll into whatever sized balls your heart desires (behave). Set aside.
  4. Once the onions are soft, add the passata and season to taste. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and let it reduce down until your desired consistency is reached..not too runny, not too thick - just right. Right at the last moment I add a splash of quality balsamic vinegar for richness and sweetness - but you can just play around with the seasoning.
  5. Fry off the balls in a shallow fry pan over a medium heat and once browned all over add to a baking dish. I use either an enamel baking pan or a Le Creuset dish (which you can use as a serving dish in the middle of the table once cooked as they look so bloomin' gorgeous).
  6. Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the meatballs and tear in some basil leaves, scattering over the top for a bit of fragrant greenery (if your kids are going to baulk at something, so help me God, this will be it..so leave out if you want to avoid a potential battle). Sprinkle over the grated cheddar and you can add some more gruyere or some fresh parmesan as well if you so wish. Grind over some black pepper and a splash of olive oil, just to be a bit sexy at this point.
  7. Put the dish on the top shelf of the pre-heated oven and cook for around 25-30 mins or until bubbling and golden on top.
  8. I serve this with mixed pasta shapes to appease my son - shells are his favourite. I prefer to eat this with a small serving of al dente wholewheat penne and a generous rocket and spinach salad with a simple white balsamic & olive oil dressing and shaves of parmesan..oh and a bucket of Pinot Noir, but who's judging.

    Let me know how you go! Enjoy xx
FoodJenna ElsbyComment