M&M’s – Meatballs and Mash Potatoes!

M and M’s, do you know those little sweets that supposedly doesn’t melt in your hand? Well, we’re not talking about those today.( Hah, got you there didn’t I?) We are talking about my favorite M and M’s …Meatballs and Mash Potatoes. Simple home cooked classics, but sadly two of the dishes that can go so horribly wrong.
I am talking about lumpy mash and dry chewy meatballs, sound familiar yet? Wanna know how to have creamy mash and delicious moist meatballs every time, stick with me……Firstly the mash potatoes! Look, mash is my ultimate comfort food so I have eaten my way through many a lumpy mess, but nothing compares with a bowl of creamy buttery mash. To try and make mashed potatoes the Heston Blumenthal style is  way too much trouble and effort for me, but there are a few easy do-able tricks that will give you  good results too.
Idaho, russet and for us here in South Africa Up-to-Date potatoes have a higher starch content and lower moisture and therefore have a mealier texture when cooked. Because they absorb more moisture while cooking, they tend to fall apart.To compensate for this you can either steam the potatoes or cook them in barely simmering water.

Mash Potatoes

Ingredients

5 large potatoes
salt
approximately 1 cup full cream milk
smoked butter
whole nutmeg

Peel the potatoes and place in pot with salted water. Slowly bring to a very gentle simmer and cook until fork tender. When the potatoes are almost done, place the milk and butter in a pot on the stove and warm until butter has melted. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and place in the pot with the milk and butter. Start mashing the potatoes with a potato masher, add more milk if it is too dry. Now for the important part! If you have a potato ricer, perfect, but if you don’t, a good old kitchen sieve will do the trick. Simply spoon some potato into the sieve and with the back of the spoon, work the potatoes through the sieve and repeat until all the potatoes are done. If you want a really, really creamy mash, repeat the process once more. Taste the potatoes and if necessary add salt. A final grating of  whole nutmeg and voila, perfection!

Meatballs
serves 6

Ingredients

1 kg ground beef – topside if possible
1 large onion – grated
4 slices of brown bread – not seed loaf
1 tbsp Worcester Sauce
2 tsp salt
125ml chopped parsley – I also added some sage here
1/2 tsp ground coriander
pepper

Soak bread in water for about 2 minutes. Squeeze the bread to remove all the water and add, with all other ingredients to the ground beef. Mix with the hands, but do not over-mix. Make small meatballs keep one side.

Onion and Red Wine Gravy

Ingredients

3 large onions
olive oil
1 clove garlic – crushed
½ bottle red wine
1 cup beef stock
fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
a sprig of sage
2 tsp sugar
salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 180C. On the stove top, in an oven-proof pan or skillet, heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic until it becomes translucent. Add all the other ingredients and allow to cook until the onions are soft and the sauce has reduced somewhat. Now place the meatballs in the sauce and place in the oven for about 45 minutes. What you are looking for is, meatballs with a slight browning on the top and onions that have reduced to a sticky intense gravy.  Crumble some goat’s cheese over the top. With a bowl of creamy mash potatoes…..it does not get any better than this!

More ground beef Recipes

Meatballs with Banana and Onion Relish

Spaghetti and Meatballs


Moroccan Kefta

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