Meatballs with caramelised onions & mushrooms

Don’t you just hate those days when you have x, y, z ingredients and you can’t seem to picture a whole dish..?!
I had mushrooms – had to use them soon, I had onions and I had lettuce… {Mince in the freezer.}
There were also a few other bits and bobs in the fridge, but nothing that made sense. I decided on meatballs and everything else was still a blank.

For the meatballs you’ll need:
500g venison mince {or beef}
Salt & pepper
Cumin, about a teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, a sprinkle
1 egg
Bacon fat {for frying}
Mix all together and shape into small bite-sized balls. Fry in bacon fat.

I prepared my never-fail caramelised onions to go with the meatballs, because they go with just about anything, plus the venison goes very well with something slightly sweet.

You will need:
1 onion, sliced
Butter
Balsamic vinegar
Honey
Sauté the onion in butter until soft, then add a tbs of honey and balsamic vinegar and let it caramelise.

You can have the meatballs just like this, topped with some caramelised onions on a bed of baby lettuce – perfect – or you can add a moreish mushroom sauce.

You will need:
Brown mushrooms
Cream
Butter
Salt

The best way to prepare this entire dish is as follows:
Start by making the onions.
In that same pan, fry the meatballs.
Again, in the same pan, make the mushroom sauce. That way you get the additional flavour from the bacon fat and meatballs infused in the mushroom sauce. That is the key!

So, to make the mushroom sauce, add some butter to the pan and sauté the mushrooms until soft. Season with salt and add about half a cup of cream. Let it reduce a bit and voila.
Finish it all off with a handful of wild rocket and a drizzle of olive oil.
You have the comfort of the meatballs, with a bit of sweetness from the onions, an earthy mushroom sauce {just enough, not to drench the dish in a creamy sauce} and fresh, sweet, crisp greens. A perfectly balanced meal!

I must say, this would also work really well as an appetizer for a dinner party – it’s certainly elegant enough and very tasty, plus you could make everything in advance and just assemble it on little side plates to serve. I would just make it a smaller portion, perhaps 2 meatballs per person.

Enjoy! X

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