Meatballs have been a staple of our blog – partly because they’re an easy dish, partly because they’re fun to make. Don’t be afraid of lamb mince – it does have a higher fat content than pork or turkey mince but that adds the flavour. You can lower the fat by having a butcher make the mince for you. You should make friends with your local butcher; ours loves the sight of us – I think we’ve paid for his caravan twice over.
500g lamb mince
125g halloumi cheese, diced into small cubes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
150ml chicken stock
8 fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7.
2. Mix together the lamb mince, halloumi, 1 teaspoon of oregano and the paprika, being careful not to over-mix, then divide the mixture into 20-24 portions and roll them into meatballs.
3. Spray a large baking sheet with a little oil and place the meatballs on the sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, place a large saucepan over a medium heat, spray with a little oil and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it is starting to turn translucent. Add the garlic and stir well, then add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
5. When the meatballs are ready, add them to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
6. Garnish the lamb and halloumi meatballs with extra basil leaves if you wish.
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TwoChubbyCubs The Cookbook: 100 Tried and Tested Slimming Recipes by James and Paul Anderson is published by Yellow Kite, price £20. To order a copy for £16 with free p&p until 30 April, go to mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155.