Friday, 18 November 2011

FD IN - Veal meatballs with mushrooms in port sauce

I thought I’d start my own posts on this page with some eating in rather than a new restaurant. Me and Ms Mowgli bought a pack of veal meatballs (500g, Waitrose) on offer and thought of doing a sort of German spin on it inspired by a recent trip to the Black Forest. We ate the dish with Spaetzle, which are a kind of noodles commonly eaten in Germany:
- The spaetzle (150g/person roughly) was first placed in salted, boiling water. It was then cooked according to a Google translation (German->English!) of the instructions. We boiled it for 8 minutes before allowing it to rest in hot, non-boiling water for a further 8 minutes before being coated with unsalted butter.
- Whilst the spaetzle was boiling, we fried the meatballs in a ”healthy” dose of melted butter (I guess 2-3 tbsp of olive oil would be ''acceptable'' too, but the butter makes it taste so good!) over a low/medium heat in a frying pan until the meatballs were browned and just start to caramelize. The meatballs were then kept in a bowl with some kitchen paper on top (to soak up the excess butter…I could eat that paper on its’ own!).

- We then fried a pack of white button mushrooms in the juices and butter leftover from the meat. Once they started to soften, the mushrooms were then seasoned with salt and pepper (I like to add quite a lot of pepper here because I think it spices up the veal nicely). I used to be more of a mushroom snob but then Ms Mowgli showed me the error of my ways with an amazing garlic button mushroom dish (for another post!).

- We then added about 50 ml of port (cognac would also be good, white wine would be lighter) and reduced at a medium/high heat until the liquid was reduced by half and the alcohol evaporated.

- We then added a pack of single cream. A 50:50 mixture of creme fraiche/double cream could be added for a more gallic flavour, but I prefer the single cream as it is a bit lighter. Creme fraiche does give a sour note which nicely balances out the sweetness of the port though so it’s excellent too.

- Finally we added some roughly torn, fresh flat leaf parsley to finish the dish. We then allowed the dish to simmer for a couple of minutes and served with the spaetzle!

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