Recipe by Ioannis Grammenos, Executive Chef of Heliot Steak House.
Meatballs with tomato, basil sauce & feta cheese
Serves 4, Prep time: 1 hour, Cook time: 45 min
For the meatballs:
- 800g good quality freshly minced beef
- 1 medium size white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Small bunch of parsley
- Small bunch of basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of marjoram
- 50g of breadcrumbs
- 1 whole egg
- Salt & peppers
For the tomato & basil sauce:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 400g chopped tomato
- 1 bay leave
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 bunch Thai basil
- Salt & pepper
- Feta cheese, basil for garnish
Start by chopping the white onion into very small cubes, then finely chop the garlic gloves, the basil and parsley. Place the minced meat in a large bowl, adding all the chopped ingredients and the oregano and marjoram. Mix well all the ingredients for 5-10 minutes.
Finally add the breadcrumbs, the whole egg beaten, season the mixture with salt and pepper and mix again for another 5 minutes.
Divide the mixture into approximately 24 round balls of 35g each. Cover the meatballs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
If you want to check the mixture, you can fry a very small portion to add any extra seasoning, if necessary.
To make the tomato sauce, start by heating the olive oil in a heavy stainless-steel saucepanover a gentle heat and add the onion and garlic. Cover and sweat for four minutes, until soft and golden. Add the chopped tomato, the bay leave, thyme, and paprika.
Season with the sugar salt and pepper and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. When the sauce is ready remove from the fire add the finely chopped Thai basil and mix well to release the aromas of the basil.
To cook the meatballs, place in an oven-proof pan at 180 degrees for 10-12 minutes. After cooking, place the meatballs in a big serving bowl with the tomato basil sauce and top with the feta cheese.
Can’t find fresh marjoram and oregano? Swap these ingredients with any dry herbs of your choice.
TIP: Feeling very hungry? Consider serving this dish with linguini or a bowl of rice.