Pork and Fennel Meatballs with Rice and Peppers

Ingredients

500g organic pork mince
2 large bulbs of fennel
3 cups of boiled rice
3 peppers
Tomato puree
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 eggs separated
1/2 pint of chicken stock

Herbs and Spices

Chilli Flakes
Fennel seeds
Salt
Black Pepper
4 Garlic cloves

For the meatballs

Enough was enough! Brenda had taken over the kitchen and apart from the hideous mess she creates when ‘cooking’ I had been plied with more brown slop than is good for a girl. So I shooed her out of the kitchen after she managed to permanently glue some jelly to the ceiling. I don’t want to call her incompetent but there are times when I realise that she never attended finishing school.

So having taken over the asylum I extracted some of the day’s shopping from the fridge.

In a mortar crush lightly a teaspoon of black peppercorns. I pretended I was crushing Brenda’s head and that made it all the more enjoyable. Then add a tablespoon of fennel seed and crush a the mix a little more.

crush the spices for this delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Trim, peel and finely dice (I used an alligator) the fresh fennel bulbs and the peppers(strictly speaking these are not for the meatballs but since you’ve got the alligator out anyway, you might as well get ahead of yourself so the peppers are ready-prepared for when you do the rice part of this dish….)

dice the peppers for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Separate two eggs

Put the pork mince in a bowl with the yolks, add half the diced fennel, crushed black pepper/fennel seeds, plus squeeze in your four garlic cloves through the crusher direct into the mix and sprinkle on about a teaspoon of chilli flakes. Get your(clean!) hands in and combine

mix the ingredients for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Create about 20 meatballs, each about 2″ wide (about the size of a medium tomato!) rolling them in the frothy white of egg (frothy, as your sous-chef has lightly whisked them for you…) and roll your balls through the breadcrumbs. Fry, turning and moving regularly, in a 1/2″ layer of vegetable/olive oil for about ten minutes until just turning golden which should take about 15 minutes.

fry the meatballs for a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 15-20 mins on 180°C.

MEANWHILE…..
……Save the oil from the frying, filtering through a sieve to remove most of the loose bits – Brenda will be more expert on that than me as I ordered her to do it………

For the sauce (be ready to check the meatballs towards the end of this stage – if they’re done before your rice and sauce is finished, switch the oven off and open the oven door slightly so they keep warm but aren’t cooking further)

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Take the rest of the diced fennel and soften in a few tablespoons of the sieved oil (in which the meatballs were fried) for about 10 mins in a saucepan

Then and add 1/2 pint of chicken stock and a squeeze of tomato puree, plus a can of chopped tomatoes

Simmer for about 20 minutes until everything is soft and combined

Liquidise the sauce in the pan using a hand held blender.

For the rice

Saute diced peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil for about ten mins then stir in the cooked rice and continue to heat through for a further five – leave in the pan with the heat off till ready to serve.

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce

Serve with a decent bottle of wine!

a delicious meatball recipe with rice and tomato sauce