Allow me start off this post with full disclosure: I don’t really eat red meat. I’ve been a lax veggie-pescatarian for about ten years. Now that I’m living in China, though, I don’t know what meat, veggies, carbs or snacks I’m eating half of the time, so I’m more negligent than ever. But that’s beside the point.
I hear you ask yourself, “how can I trust a sort-of-non-meat-eater’s recipe for homemade meatballs?” Because I’ve tried them, and enjoyed them, and my boyfriend thinks they’re the tits.
And there you have it.
But for real, these homemade meatballs are so much better than any pre-packaged or frozen meatballs you could buy in the store. So don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off. You simply chuck everything in a bowl, mix until your arms hurt, roll the mixture into balls, then fry these babies up and stick them in the oven. They’re actually so much fun to make because you can get your hands dirty, just like when you would make mud pies on the beach a kid!
The tangy tomato relish is entirely homemade, too. I use a mixture of simple sauces that you’re sure to have in your pantry, a dash of spice, a sprinkle of sugar, and a few fresh ingredients. But unlike the homemade meatballs, I wouldn’t recommend getting your hands dirty for this part of the recipe!
Homemade Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 400 g minced meat
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup milk
- ½ onion finely diced
- 1 clove minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp brown sauce
- olive oil for frying
- flour for coating
- 1 cup tomato sauce (i.e. ketchup)
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- ½ onion finely diced
Preheat oven to 180° C and spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray
Combine the minced meat and oats in a large bowl, and stir. Add milk, onions, garlic, spices and brown sauce. Stir until the mixture is properly combined. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture and roll them into balls
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Coat each of the balls in flour then fry until lightly browned, turning the meatballs over as your fry them to ensure they cook evenly. Place meatballs into prepared baking dish and set aside
In a bowl, add all ingredients and stir until combined. Drizzle the sauce evenly over the meatballs, then bake for 35-40 minutes until bubbling and hot and serve immediately
- These meatballs can be served alongside anything starchy, from mashed or baked potato to rice or pasta. When serving with pasta, I would add an extra ½ cup tomato sauce to make your dish extra saucy.