Rick Stein’s : Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce (Boles de picolat)

This recipe suggestion is from Rick Stein, one of my favourite TV chefs.

I always enjoy watching his many and varied cookery series. Back in the Autumn of 2019 the BBC were showing ‘Secret France’, where Rick gets off the beaten track and takes to the backroads of France – a less discovered France that still cherishes the best of its past and is creating modern exciting dishes that are still unmistakably French. I did enjoy watching it and now share one of the recipes featured …
Rick says … ‘this recipe came from a stall in Prades market where they were cooking boles meatballs in a huge paella pan. They were fabulous – beef and pork meatballs flavoured with cinnamon and piment d’Espelette in an exquisite tomato sauce with green olives, haricot beans and bacon. I thought there might be too much meat in the dish, but not at all.’

Serves 4 – 6

For the meatballs
400g/14oz beef mince
400g/14oz pork mince
1 free-range egg, beaten
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp piment d’Espelette or pimentón
2–3 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for rolling
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the spicy tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
100g/3½oz unsmoked bacon lardons or cubes of cooked ham
1 tsp piment d’Espelette or pimentón
½ tsp ground cinnamon
6 tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
150g/5½oz pitted green olives, drained
400g tin haricot beans, drained and rinsed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve 
freshly cooked rice, (optional)
lower carb cauliflower rice, (optional)
lower carb mashed swede/rutabaga (optional)

1. To make the meatballs, mix the beef, pork, egg, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, piment d’Espelette and 2 tablespoons of flour in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Using your hands, shape the mixture into golf ball-sized spheres, adding another tablespoon of flour if the mixture feels too wet to form into balls. Roll the balls in flour to lightly cover. Heat the oil in a large, preferably shallow, flameproof casserole dish and brown the meatballs all over. Remove from the dish and set aside.
2. For the sauce, heat the oil in the same casserole dish and fry the onion and lardons until the onions are softened. Add the piment d’Espelette and cinnamon and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes, tomato purée and 250ml/9fl oz water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the olives, beans and meatballs, together with any juices they have released.

3. Cover the dish and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for 10–15 minutes. Check a couple of times during cooking and add a little more water if the sauce looks too thick.

Serve as a tapas dish or as a main dish with rice, cauliflower rice, mashed swede. 
From original idea here

Piment d Espelette are hot, dried red pepper from the Basque region of France. Add the pepper to marinades, dry rubs and for seasoning anything to be roasted. Use it as you would hot paprika atop potato salad or devilled eggs. Available in specialty stores and online.

Substitute for Piment d Espelette
Hot paprika (unsmoked)
OR Cayenne

OR Aleppo pepper
Information above taken from here

Related Posts – more recipes from Rick Stein:
Lamb Casserole with Aubergine / Eggplant here
Simple Cod Gratin with Béarnaise Sauce Topping here

Greek Style Moussaka here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe suggestions and articles within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Source: thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com

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