Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite is a tremendous read and really quite an inspiring book. This dish was very much inspired by it, with a bit more garlic.

This year we bought a very expensive Le Creuset non-stick roasting tin and it’s become my go to for everything that goes in the oven, mostly just to save on the washing up. It has been brilliant and I’d buy it again tomorrow.

You will need

  • 500g of minced beef, not the super lean stuff
  • 500g of ripe tomatoes
  • A couple of chillies (I used the only one I managed to grow this year)
  • A single clove of garlic
  • A heaped teaspoon of black pepper corns
  • A headed teaspoon of dried allspice (whole)
  • A couple of teaspoons of olice oil
  • A heafy sinch of flaky salt

Do

  • Stick the oven on at 180
  • Half the tomatoes and arrange cut side down in a roasting tin along with the chilli and garlic
  • Put the roasting tin in the oven
  • Meantime, grind the spices and mixx with the beef and oil
  • Mix and pound the meat in a mixing bowl until it’s more “paste like”, a little bit like Thai fishcake mix
  • Divide into meatballs. I managed 8, but 12 or 16 might have been better
  • Once the tomatoes and chilli are blackened tip the lot into a mixing bowl
  • Add the meatballs to the roasting tin and put back in the oven
  • Blitz the tomatoes with a stick blender (make sure the garlic is well blended)
  • After a few minutes the meatballs will have started to colour, pour over the tomato sauce and dot with a few slivers of butter, return to the oven
  • After about ten minutes, or when the meatballs are cooked through, serve with something to soak up juices

Result

The meatballs should be juice and gently spiced, the tomato sauce should be firey hot. The pounding of the meat leaves it with a springy texture

Blitzed tomatoes Balls pre oven After a balast Get in my face