Cooking Classes

26.1.17

Curried Meatballs

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 Turmeric will be trending this year. I will post tomorrow about all its health benefits and more ways to add it to your diet. But I couldn't wait to share these meatballs. I know, the recipe is more than a couple of ingredients but these are so delicious. And they freeze well so make up a big batch while the kitchen is in a mess.

Curried Meatballs
The amount of spice used will depend upon how fresh your spices are. Fresher spices have more flavour. Vary to suit your taste. Cayenne, chiles, jalapenos and curry powder add the heat. Turmeric does not. Chile de arbol are small red hot chilies. Crushed red chiles can be substituted. For an interesting variation add a can of coconut milk to this curry sauce. This will tone down the heat of the spices, as well.
Resist the temptation to used extra lean ground beef. The lack of fat can make the meatballs dry and hard. If that is all you can find a few tablespoons of butter can be added to the ground beef mixture to improve the texture of the cooked meatballs.

Meatballs
olive oil
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces 2.5 cm
2 jalapenos, seeds removed if desired
6 garlic cloves
1-inch piece ginger, peeled, chopped 2.5 cm
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
1 tbsp. garam masala 15 mL
1 tsp. ground coriander 5 mL
1/2 tsp. ground cumin 2 mL
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 2 mL
2 lbs. lean ground beef 1 kg
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork
3 tbsp. plain yogurt 45 mL
2 tsp. kosher salt 10 mL

Curry Sauce
1/4 c. cooking oil 60 mL
4 medium onions, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled, chopped 3.7 cm
3 dried chiles de arbol
4 tsp. curry powder 20 mL
4 tsp. ground cumin 20 mL
4 tsp. ground turmeric 20 mL
3 tbsp. ground coriander 45 mL
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 5 mL
1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes 450 mL
2 c. water 500 mL
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. kosher salt 15 mL
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 2 mL
cilantro

Meatballs
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Lightly brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Puree green onions, jalapenos, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, garam masala, coriander, cumin and cayenne in a blender until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add beef, egg, yogurt and salt. Mix with your hands until mixture is homogenous, about 1 minute. Avoid over mixing because it will make the meatballs tough. Roll beef mixture into golf ball size portions and place on baking sheet, spacing 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Makes about 24 meatballs. Drizzle meatballs with more oil and bake until browned on top and cooked through, 20–25 minutes.

Curry Sauce
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and starting to brown, 8–10 minutes. Stir in chiles, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander and peppercorns. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is very fragrant and spices begin to stick to the pot, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, stirring and scraping bottom of pot, and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt, and 2 cups (500 mL) water. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until aromatic, 25–30 minutes.
Let sauce cool slightly, then transfer to a blender. Blend until very smooth. Transfer curry sauce back to pot. Stir in lemon juice and cayenne. Taste sauce and season with more salt if needed.
Gently nestle cooked meatballs into sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook until meatballs are heated all the way through, 10–15 minutes. Serve topped with cilantro. Makes 8 servings.
Meatballs and sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. Gently reheat meatballs in sauce, covered, thinning with water if sauce is too thick. Adapted from Bon Appetit.

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