I was drawn to calling these meatballs something other than what they actually are. Let’s face it ‘Sausage meat and ham meatballs’ doesn’t sound quite as cute as calling them ‘Porky Piggy Meatballs’ and these meatballs are full of lots of pig! I guess when you put it like that it seems quite sad that Mr Porky Pig is no more, but at least he was loved and enjoyed as some fantastic meatballs. I apologise to anyone that I have potentially just turned vegetarian with that little introduction.
Bring born and bred in Nottingham means that the perfect home for these meatballs is within a cob, but I imagine most of you would hear cob and think of a rather chunky horse. It seems to be one of those terms adopted by the East Midlands that if you ask for one anywhere else in the country you are starred at like you have just cursed the queen! For other people this is a meatball roll, bap, bun, barm or sub; but as you may be able to take the girl out of Nottingham, there is no chance of taking Nottingham out the girl; so this will always be a cob to me.
For the meatballs
– 200g sausage meat
– 200g ham – roughly chopped
– 1 slice brown bread – lightly toasted
– Splash oil
– 1 red onion – finely chopped
– 1 red chilli – finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic – crushed
– 1 egg – beaten
– Salt and pepper
For the sauce
– 1 glove garlic – minced
– 1 splash oil
– 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1 tsp chilli sauce
– 1 tbsp tomato puree
– 1 pinch sugar
– 1 tsp oregano
– 4 cobs (bread rolls)
– 1 ball buffalo mozzarella – sliced
– Mixed leaves
To make the meatballs, heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for 3 minutes before adding the garlic and chilli and frying for another couple of minutes. Stir regularly so that it does not burn
In a food processor whiz the bread into breadcrumbs and then add the ham and blend further
Mash together the sausage meat, ham, bread, onion mix, egg and salt and pepper until it all comes together
Shape the mixture into 16 balls, set aside on a plate and chill for 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180’C
Once chilled, roll the meatballs in a little oil and bake in an oven proof dish for 25-30 minutes, until golden
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a little oil and gently fry the garlic for a minute
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and then simmer until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.
Once the meatballs are cooked, lightly toast the cobs and then on the flatter half, load 4 meatballs onto each and divide up the sauce.
Top with the mozzarella and place back under the grill to melt the cheese
Top with salad and the other half of the roll.
Enjoy as a tasty lunch or with chips and salad for a larger meal