Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce – Salçalı Köfte

Meatballs in tomato sauce - Salçalı Köfte

Definitely a comfort food. Kids love it, so do the adults. These classic meatballs are not only a great companion to spaghetti or rice, but they also make a meatball sandwich to die for. Bread crumbs in the mix makes the meatballs very tender. I use day old bread to make breadcrumbs by either grating the bread or by soaking it with water and squeezing it very well to get the water out, then crumbling the wet bread into the mix. Original recipe is ground beef based, but feel free to substitute ground turkey (meatballs in the picture above are made with turkey) . You may want to use gloves while kneading the mixture to avoid smelly hands.
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 small to medium onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 table spoon olive oil to grease the pot
  • 2 heaping table spoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 table spoon butter
  • Parmesan cheese to taste ( optional for meatball sandwich)

In a large bowl combine onion, garlic, egg, black pepper and salt. Mix with a spoon. Add meat and bread crumbs. Knead the mixture for about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Chilling the mixture will make it easier to shape the meatballs. If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step. 

Take a large pot, drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pot.

In a bowl, combine tomato paste and hot water. Mix well with a spoon. Set aside.

Take out the meatball mixture, take a walnut size piece and roll the mixture between your palms to shape it into a ball. Place the meatballs into the pot. Repeat this until all of the meatballs are ready to be cooked.
Place the pot over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce you prepared. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low, let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Serve hot with spaghetti or rice. If you are going to make a sandwich out of it, you may want to sprinkle parmesan cheese over it.
Ingredients: ground beef or turkey, breadcrumbs, onion-garlic-egg-salt-pepper

Meatball mixture kneaded

Meatballs ready to be cooked

Meatballs simmering in tomato sauce

Afiyet Olsun! Bon Appetit!

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