Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I hope you can still find some local carrots. I have a bin full, because we dug our overwintered ones up just before everything went crazy.

These worked out really well. I often find things made with ground turkey can get awfully dry, but the toasted barley flour added a little depth to the flavour and kept them moist too. Serve them with mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice; we had ours with polenta and I really liked that a lot. 

6 servings
45 minutes prep time

1/2 cup barley flour
500 grams (1 pound) ground turkey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rubbed oregano
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives or green onion
2 cups finely grated carrots
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
2 cups grated carrots (again!)
1 large onion
OPTIONAL 1/2 green or red pepper, OR a handful of mushrooms 
4 cups tomato sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and put in the barley flour to toast. Stir it constantly until it is a light tan or buff colour. It will take a few minutes before anything starts to happen, and then it will toast quite quickly. As soon as it is a good even colour, dump it into a large mixing bowl right away to cool.

Add the ground turkey, break in the eggs, add the salt, oregano, paprika, chopped chives and finely grated carrots. Mix it all well, by hand or with a large wooden spoon, until thoroughly blended.

Form the mixture into 24 or 36 meatballs, putting them out on a large plate or a sheet of parchment paper as  you form them.

Grate the remaining carrots, and peel and chop the onion. Trim and chop the green or red pepper, or mushrooms, if you are using them. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs until they are evenly browned, turning them to achieve that. Remove them back to the plate or paper as they are browned. 

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the remaining grated carrots, and the chopped onion. Add the peppers or mushrooms if using. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and slightly cooked down. Add the tomato sauce, then return the browned meatballs to the sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through - about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with polenta, rice, or pasta.

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