With the ABs playing Georgia this weekend I thought I’d make something goulash-like as a nod to this small country heading to what we hope will be the lion’s den. We adore meatballs in our family for their simplicity, cost and the fact you can add any flavours you like. Soaking the breadcrumbs in milk makes them extremely tender. The salty blue cheese adds a beautiful contrast to the smoky paprika. Enjoy and go the ABs!
500g minced beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
90 ml milk
1 ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
½ tsp each chilli flakes and caraway seeds
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp sugar
½ bunch flat leaf parsley
100g blue cheese, crumbled
For paprika meatballs, soak breadcrumbs in milk until absorbed then combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing lightly with your hands, season generously and roll into walnut sized balls (I often make earlier and leave them in the fridge). Heat a large oiled frypan on a medium-high heat and fry them in batches until browned but not cooked through. Set aside on a plate.
For the sauce, add olive oil to the pan then add the garlic frying gently for 1 minute.
Tip in all the other ingredients, except the parsley, then bring to the boil. Season to taste.
Reduce the heat and add the meatballs back into the sauce then simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With a minute or 2 to go, add the parsley and stir through. Crumble blue cheese and allow to melt.
Serve with pasta and extra olive oil.