Since I started work in Kings Cross, I’ve been addicted to the £2.99 kids portion of four Leon’s meatballs with italian brown rice and peas. I think i’ve eaten it at least 15 times in January. Which is pretty bad when you think about living a life of variety based on the headfuck amount of choices life has to offer.

The point I am making is that, these meatballs are like crack to me in this really cold arse-freezing wintery time and I decided to hunt high and low on the repository for infinite discovery (a.k.a google) for the exact recipe so that I didn’t have to buy the recipe book.

I finally unearthed it in a 2008 Guardian article so here it is my fellow meatball loving invisible friends:

The meatballs

  • 1½ wholemeal flatbreads (the smaller size, roughly 20cm in diameter) or pitta
  • 120ml milk
  • 1kg minced lamb
  • A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • A small handful of mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

The sauce

  • 30ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 800g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1½ tbsp harissa
  • A handful of basil, leaves picked and chopped
  • A handful of parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Rip the flatbread into pieces and soak in the milk for 10 minutes. Then put the bread into a mixing bowl, add the mince and stir in the parsley, mint, oregano, garlic and some seasoning.

Mix well, then roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls (about 20g each).

Either on a griddle pan (best) or under a very hot grill, brown the balls quickly – it’s all about colouring them and not cooking them through … five minutes total cooking time with about three turns on the griddle.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and gently fry the crushed garlic. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and harissa and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Put in the meatballs and continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes with a lid on until the sauce looks about right.

Lastly, stir in the herbs and have a final seasoning check.

Source: Fresh Flavours, Guardian 2008