Transylvanian meatballs with garlic sauce...

If you're a fan of garlic you'll definitely like this little dish! I usually make my meatballs in some sauce, so it was a nice change to just pop them "dry" into the oven. I was surprised how well they turned out. Expecting dry, tough little balls of meat i was presented with juicy, not greasy/fatty (as all that melted onto my try!) and very flavorsome meatballs! Regarding the garlic - it wasn't an issue at all, as I'm a huge fan. But... if you have a date or some important meeting - it's better if you plan this dish for a different day ;)
This recipe comes from "The Hairy Dieters Cookbook no.3" - I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical at the beginning, in regards to all those "healthy recipes", but after making few already - I'm a convert! :)

hairy bikers meatballs

transylvanian meatballs

How to make it...

- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 600 g lean beef mince
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 100 g breadcrumbs, Japanese panko are ideal
- 50 g low-fat natural yoghurt
- flaked sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Garlic sauce:
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
- 100 g low-fat natural yogurt
- a pinch of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and green pepper and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and allow the veg to cool. Put the beef in a large bowl and break it up. Season generously with
salt and pepper and sprinkle over the paprika and breadcrumbs. Add the cooled onion, pepper and garlic, along with the yogurt and mix the whole lot together. The easiest way to do this thoroughly is with your (very clean) hands. Form the mixture into balls of about 40g each – the size of a golfball.
Space them evenly on the baking tray and bake them in the oven for 12–15 minutes, until well browned.
For the garlic sauce - bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add all the unpeeled garlic cloves. Simmer until the cloves are very tender – this should take about 15 minutes. Drain the garlic
cloves and rinse them under cool running water until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the flesh out of the skins and then mash them on a chopping board with a fork. Put the yogurt in a bowl and add the mashed garlic, sugar and white wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and leave to stand for a few minutes before serving with the meatballs.

*Tip - The meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked, but don’t freeze the sauce.


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