Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meatballs with Witloof and Beer

This is a very good recipe adapted from my favourite cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek. It is a traditional belgian recipe which incorporates 3 key ingredients often used in belgian cooking, meatballs, witloof and beer. This dish is called "Gehaktballekes Gestoofd met Witloof en Bier" in Dutch.

Ingredients (for 4 persons)
For the meatballs :
1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
180ml milk
600g minced pork+calf meat
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped 
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp baking butter
1 tbsp oil 

For the sauce/soup :
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
3 witloofs (with the bitter core removed, sliced thinly from the cross-section)
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt and pepper
1.5 tbsp flour
240ml of Pilsner beer (or any draft beer)
120ml of chicken or beef bouillon

Preparation of meatballs :
1. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. Place the minced meat in a big bowl, and add the breadcrumb-milk mixture, followed by egg, chopped shallots, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix the minced meat thoroughly, shape into big meatballs and coat the meatballs thinly with flour.

2. Heat up butter and oil in a big pan over high heat. Bake the meatballs in the pan for about 5 min, make sure that the meatballs are browned but not burnt. Remove the meatballs from the pan and keep them for later.

Preparation of sauce/soup:
3. Leave 2 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the onions and witloofs and stir-fry over a low fire for about 10 min. 

4. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and sprinkle some flour over the vegetables. Continue to fry for another one to two min.

5. Add the beer and bouillon into the pan of witloofs, and bring it to a boil.

6. Put the meatballs back into the pan, cover the pan loosely with a lid (do not cover completely) and let the meatballs and witloof simmer in the beer and bouillon, over a low fire for about 45 min.

Note : Only after making the dish then I realised I did not measure the amount of bouillon and poured too much of it, resulting in a soup instead of a sauce. Nevertheless, the dish is still very delicious and has a fragrant taste of beer. So if you like meatballs with soup rather with sauce, u can add more bouillon and beer to make it as a soup.

Smakelijk eten !

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