Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Baby Bites: Carrot and Lamb Meatballs with Tomato Dipping Sauce

This makes for a wonderful finger food for little ones, and you can experiment with herbs and spices and different mince to make all sorts of variations too but this one is a classic take and lamb makes for great meatballs as it has a good fat level so they remain nice and juicy.

This recipe makes enough for 16 small balls, which is plenty for four to five portions. I freeze them raw in a sealed bag, and then pop out to defrost on the morning I need them and cook fresh each time.

The tomato sauce is a basic one and makes enough for 6-8 portions which can also be used with other foods too such a chicken or fish goujons or even as a pasta sauce. This again freezes well in sealable pots or bags. 

For the meatballs:
250g lean lamb mince
2 carrots
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper

For the sauce:
2 leeks
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

Firstly combine the lamb mince with the pepper, oregano and paprika in a large mixing bowl.

Peel the carrots and coarsely grate them straight into the mince. Use your hands to thoroughly mix together and then slowly form the balls.

Place any you are freezing into sealable bags and pop straight into the freezer.

Leave the ones you are cooking to one side for the minute.

To make the sauce firstly chop the leeks and saute in the olive oil to soften.

Add the tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar, sugar and paprika and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes and using a wooden spoon to break down the tomatoes a bit.

While the sauce is cooking away, place a sheet of tin foil on the grill and pop the meatballs on top. Then turn on the grill to a medium heat and cook until the meatballs are browned all over - this should take about 5-8 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked through, remove from the grill and place on a plate with a couple of sheets of kitchen towel and roll around - this is to absorb any excess oil or fat.

Allow the meatballs to cool a little and in the meantime, pour the tomato sauce into a blender and blitz to a smooth consistency.

Dish up and serve to little one once the sauce has cooled enough for him or her to handle.

Be warned, these meatballs are moreish so make extra as the parent feeding them may get tempted too!

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