Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Pork and Veal Meatballs on Polenta with Gremolata

One of the ways that I survive is by being organised.  Many of my friends, I believe, think I have a major control issue or am just simply crazy.  Menu planning, shopping lists, list of contents of freezer, family planner, etc., has just become part of our lives as with both hubby and I working full time and the kids with school and sporting activities there was a definite need to be organised not only to be prepared but the maximize the spare time that we did have.  I guess you either love it or hate it (or maybe don't understand it)!  I love it.

So needless to say I have menu planned the first week of the New Year.  As I plan Saturday to Friday it's only a small week especially as we went out for dinner with family last night to the Westernport Hotel in Hastings.  Now I mainly only plan dinners as lunches are normally quite standard weekdays but if I do plan to do a nice lunch on the weekend, for example, this is planned also.  Once the meals are decided I also make note of where the recipe is sourced from so whoever wants to come in and start preparing dinner they know what needs doing.  From the menu plan I get the shopping list and it all flows on from there.

I decided that tonight's dish, Pork and Veal Meatballs on Polenta with Gremolata, an Italian inspired dish would move away from all the foods and flavours of the Festive Season that we have been eating.  While the sauce itself is quite rich, the meatballs were moist and tender with a hint of cheese.  I did actually use pork an beef mince for this recipe as I did not have veal as the original recipe called for.  Both minces were only regular grade not the lean mince as required which would add to the richness and the fat content.  This also made it a tad oilier.  So stick to lean mince for this recipe.

The tomato sauce was very robust and really complemented the whole dish. This combined with the smooth creamy polenta made this meal quite comforting and I can only imagine would make a wonderful meal for a cold winters night.  The kids, not being fans of polenta, had boiled pasta instead.  I think if I had cooked more there would have been seconds taken by everyone that's for sure.

Pork and Veal Meatballs on Polenta with Gremolata
(Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Australia)

Serves: 4
SmartPoints per serve: 10
SmartPoints per serve (using regular mince): 13

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely choppped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 gram canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
250 grams lean pork mince
250 grams mince veal or beef, raw
3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
125 grams Instant yellow polenta
1 tablespoons fresh lemon rind, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoons garlic powder

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, carrot and garlic, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine mince, 2 tablespoons cheese, half the parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into 12 balls.

Add meatballs to tomato mixture and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, bring 1 litre of water to the boil over high heat. Add polenta in a steady stream and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft and creamy. Stir in remaining cheese.

Combine lemon rind, remaining parsley and garlic powder in a bowl. Serve polenta topped with meatballs, sauce and gremolata.

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