Meatballs

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Another late-at-night, everyone's-drunk-quick-I-better-feed-them recipe. Always keep a quarter of a kilo of mince in the freezer; have a microwave set to "defrost", and always have a bottle of tomato sauce and a tin of anchovies in the cupboard. And always, always have one more bottle of red wine hidden somewhere.

Another late-at-night, everyone's-drunk-quick-I-better-feed-them recipe. Always keep a quarter of a kilo of mince in the freezer; have a microwave set to "defrost", and always have a bottle of tomato sauce and a tin of anchovies in the cupboard. And always, always have one more bottle of red wine hidden somewhere.

As with most late-night drinking sessions or suppers, you invariably drink your best, most loved and prized wine. It's Bacchus's way of telling you to get over yourself and be less serious about wine.

That's why expensive cabernet is perfect with these meatballs - the best one you have.

250g minced (ground) beef, or a veal/pork mix
1 teaspoon plain (all-purpose) flour
20g tinned anchovies (about 5-6 fillets)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (puree)
a knob of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
a dash of red wine vinegar

If it's frozen, defrost the mince. A bit obvious, we know, but this is a recipe book. Use your hands and squish the mince, flour, anchovies and tomato paste together. A bowl is handy. Fashion the goo into little balls - the smaller the better.

Heat the butter and a splash of olive oil in a non-stick pan and slowly brown the meatballs. Medium to low heat for 8-10 minutes. Take your time. Add a dash of red wine vinegar to the pan towards the end of the frying to add some much-needed piquancy to your balls. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

TIPS: Add any of the following ingredients to the meatball matrix: fresh herbs, finely chopped bacon, mushroom, a dash of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce or an egg, for protein's sake. Use tinned anchovies and not the ones in jars, as the latter get light-struck and lose their flavour quickly.

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