Friday, 28 June 2013

Russian Meatballs

I have been trying to please my nieces (ages 5 and 8) with food for so long now.. They don't like my Mac & Cheese because it's too cheesy (I now make it for them without cheese, bacon or tomatoes). After polishing off a plateful of spaghetti monsters, Sophie says she doesn't like them. They won't even try corn dogs, so I haven't bothered making them. Phew! So imagine my excitement when Emily mentioned that she would love to try spaghetti and meatballs!

Of course- we don't serve meatballs with spaghetti in Ukraine- we serve them with good old mashed potatoes. I did however send a bunch to Emily to have with spaghetti, and then had to send a few more! And they were so easy to make.

Now, trust me.. Pinky swear.. THIS is the cure for a bad day. Just for you, sprinkle a little cheese on top, settle in on the couch under a blanket, get a glass of wine.. Watch Big Bang Theory until it cheers you up, and if it doesn't, eat some cake too.

Russian Meatballs
From My Mom

1/3 cup basmati rice
700 g beef mince
1 egg
1/2 tsp paprika
115 g + 1 tblsp tomato sauce
115 g tomato paste
2 x bay leaves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4-5 x aromatic pepper balls

1) Boil the rice in salty water until cooked, drain and leave to cool.
2) Add the rice and egg to the mince, season generously and stir until incorporated.
3) Put a bit of olive oil in a pot, add the paprika and fry it for a little while.
4) Add the tomato sauce and paste, and cook them for a while.
5) Add about 500 ml of hot water, bay leaves, pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil.
6) Set up a frying pan, add some olive oil. Make balls out of the mince, fry them to lightly caramelise both sides, then gently drop them into the pot.
7) Once done, boil them for about 20 minutes.
8) Taste one meatball and correct seasoning.
9) If you want to serve them with spaghetti, I would suggest separating some sauce, dissolving about 1 tablespoon of corn starch in a bit of water and adding it. It will take a couple of minutes for the sauce to thicken, and you can add some more if it's not the desired consistency. The add the meatballs, cook some spaghetti and serve.
10) To serve with mash, make mash, and put meatballs with some sauce on top. It makes for a soft warm soothing meal which is just a perfect antidote to all the bad in the world.


  1. Mom used to do it sooooooooooooooooo good, I have not had these for years!!!

    1. Ah great - you can make them again!!