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Reluctant spicy meatballs

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4

My response to Mrs M the other day that “I have DONE a meatball recipe already!” did not in the slightest deter her from her chosen course, despite my obvious reluctance to do another meatball recipe.

Scrumptious grilled spicy meatballs with a dipping bowl of chutney. Lovely as a snack, or as a light meal served with a crisp green salad.

She had a bee in her bonnet you see, and I’ve learned over the years not to get in the way of that bee. And a good thing I didn’t, because the meatballs that emerged are truly lovely.

I find that Mrs M is inclined to contemplate for some time before finally getting down to the business of actually making the dish and it is that contemplation that results in the final recipe coming together rather rapidly.

I’ve also noticed that if I don’t ask her to document what she’s doing, or indeed do so myself while she works, quantities and method may become a trifle hazy over time!

We have a minor rosemary forest in our diminutive front garden (there is a price to be paid for living in a lock-up-and-go security complex), and the actual genesis of this recipe was Mrs M’s desire to use rosemary stick skewers in some dish or other. If you don’t have a rosemary forest to hand, then conventional skewers will do just as well, but the rosemary skewers definitely add a lovely flavour dimension.

Cut them just a short while before you plan to use them, strip off all the leaves, and cut the top end off at an angle to make a sharpish point. Give them a good rinse to get rid of any ghoulies, then soak them in water until you use them. If you’re using ordinary skewers, you should also soak them in water for a time before using them to prevent them from burning under the grill.

The spicy meatballs ready for the oven or braai.

And of course, there is no good reason why you couldn’t do these on the braai, and with the summer almost upon us, why the hell not? Just remember to turn them fairly regularly so they don’t burn.

Ingredients, Selection and Preparation

650g beef mince: lamb or chicken would do just as well.

3 garlic cloves: crushed

3 shallots: peeled and finely chopped

2tbsp parsley: chopped stalks and all

Bread crumbs: four slices of white bread, crusts removed, and blitzed into crumbs in a blender jug, or with a stick blender.

2tsp curry powder

1tsp chilli powder

salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs: beaten

Canola oil: to brush onto the meatballs


Pre-heat the oven to 200 deg C.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and squish together until well mixed, but don’t overwork it.

Wet your hands with cold water, and form into small meatballs. Mrs M used a 30ml measure for each one.

Carefully thread four meatballs onto each of four skewers, and anoint them with canola oil.

Grill in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through the grilling time.

They make pretty decent snacks, but a skewer of four makes a nice light meal served with a crisp green salad. Either way, a small bowl of chutney for dipping rounds them of ever so nicely.


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