Iron Chef Shellie

Mountain Meatballs + A Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Lots to blog, so little time. And November will be month of the pot luck lunches with the Cookbook Challenge coming to an end; we are having a gathering to celebrate the last theme, and the next Cooking the Books feast scheduled. Not forgetting Celeste’s Malaysian Hawker Feast to come in December, and a few...


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Mountain Meatballs + A Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese
October 27, 2010

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Mountain Meatballs + A Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Lots to blog, so little time. And November will be month of the pot luck lunches with the Cookbook Challenge coming to an end; we are having a gathering to celebrate the last theme, and the next Cooking the Books feast scheduled. Not forgetting Celeste’s Malaysian Hawker Feast to come in December, and a few other gatherings still be sorted out via email.

I thought I’d start with sharing the recipe for Jamie’s Mountain Meatballs. Requested by a few of you out there, here it is. I’ve also added the mac ‘n’ cheese recipe, if you are in the mood for a feast!

If you are one of those cooks who precisely measures EVERYTHING… I suggest you get over that! As you’ll see below.

Mountain Meatballs

Jamie Oliver

olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely diced
1.2kg good-quality minced meat (beef, buffalo or a mixture)
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
a pinch of cumin seeds, bashed up in a pestle and mortar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, based up in a pestle and mortar
2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g freshly grated Cheddar cheese

For the chilli sauce
1 large red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 red or yellow peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 to 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 heaped tablespoons tomato ketchup
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons molasses or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
400ml hot coffee
3 plum tomatoes, quartered
a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat your oven to full whack. Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Add the 2 diced onions and fry for 10 minutes or until softened, then remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Put you minced meat into a bowl with the mustard, oregano, cumin, coriander, breadcrumbs, eggs, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the cooled onions. Use clean hands to really scrunch it all together well, then divide the mixture into 8 rounds (or smaller more manageable sized meatballs like I did).

Pick each round up, one at a time, and roll into a cricket-sized ball. Stick you thumb deep into the ball to make a pocket, then stuff in a good pinch of grated cheese. Cup, pack and pat the meat around the cheese, using your hands to mould it back into a ball. You’ll soon get the hang of it. Place the balls in a large oiled casserole dish or roasting tray, drizzle over a good lug of olive oil, then bang into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and sizzling.

Meanwhile, crack on with your chilli sauce. Use kitchen paper to wipe out the pan you cooked your onions in, and put it back on a medium heat with a few lugs of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, fresh chillies and paprika and fry gently for about 15 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, vinegar, molasses or sugar, mustard, coffee and tomatoes, and bring everything to the boil Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce had thickened. It should be thick and delicious, but if you’d like it a bit thicker just turn the heat up and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove the cooked meatballs from the oven when they’re ready and spoon away as much of the fat from the pan as you can. Pour your chilli sauce over the top, and return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes. Finely chop your parsley, sprinkle over, and serve with a spoonful of rice, or mash and a lemony green salad…. or as I did, Jamie’s Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese.

Serves 8.

A Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Jamie Oliver

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
45g butter
3 heaped tablespoons plain flour
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
6 fresh bay leaves
1 litre semi-skimmed milk
600g dried macaroni
8 tomatoes
150g freshly grated Cheddar cheese
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
optional: a couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce
 & a grating of nutmeg
3 big handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
olive oil

Get a large pan of salted water on to boil. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof saucepan over a low heat, then add the flour and turn the heat up to medium, stirring all the time, until you get a paste – this is your roux. Add all the sliced garlic – don’t worry about the amount, because each slice will caramelize like toffee in the roux. Keep cooking and stirring until golden and the garlic is nice and sticky. Add the bay leaves and slowly whisk in the milk a little at a time to ensure you get a nice smooth sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, then leave it on a low heat to simmer and tick away, stirring occasionally. Preheat your oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.

Add the pasta to the pan of boiling salted water and cook according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes on a board and season them well with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and add it immediately to the sauce. Give it a good stir and take the pan off the heat. Stir in your grated cheeses, chopped tomatoes and thyme leaves. A little Worcestershire sauce added now is nice, and so is a little grating or two of nutmeg. Now work on the flavour – taste it and season it until it’s hitting the right spot. You want it to be slightly too wet because it will thicken up again in the oven, so add a splash of water if needed.

If you’ve made your sauce in an ovenproof casserole-type pan, leave everything in there; if not, transfer it to a deep earthenware dish. Bake it for 30 minutes in the oven, until golden, bubbling, crispy and delicious.

While it’s cooking, put your breadcrumbs and thyme into a pan with a few drizzles of olive oil over a medium heat. Stir and toss the crumbs around until crunchy and golden all over. Remove from the heat and tip into a nice bowl. Serve your macaroni cheese in the centre of the table, with your bowl of crispy breadcrumbs for sprinkling over, and a lovely green salad.

Serves 8-10.



24 comments on “Mountain Meatballs + A Killer Mac ‘N’ Cheese
  1. Michelle

    This mac and cheese recipe is healthier than the one I have always used (, considering that this recipe is meant for 8-10 servings and has tomatoes! Shall try using this recipe someday.

    October 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm
  2. Allan

    Damn i’m one of those cooks…”who precisely measures EVERYTHING” =P
    thats prob why i bake more than anything else >>>LOL

    October 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm
  3. Emma @CakeMistress

    Heck yeah. Time to recreate that killer mac n cheese. Soooo good!

    October 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm
  4. hollypop

    ahhhh delicious carbicide!

    October 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm
  5. Michelle Ng

    I’m gonna try to make that Mac & Cheese someday! But sheesh, I’m the type who TRIES to measure everything precisely, guess with Jamie Oliver, I have to try to kick that habit away. 😛

    October 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm
  6. Cherrie

    that looks so good, Shellie. I wish I was able to make the lunch. Maybe next time

    October 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm
  7. penny aka jeroxie

    Yum! There are loads going on…. have fun with the next round of cookbook cookout…. But will catch up for dinner beforehand I hope!

    October 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm
  8. Celeste @ Berrytravels

    Those meatballs ROCKED MY WORLD. SO HARD.

    October 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm
  9. joudie's Mood Food

    These two dishes look sooo good and especially now that it is getting cold out the carbs are in dire need…. Love JAMIE!

    October 28, 2010 at 6:50 am
  10. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    These look so good! I think if I made these for dinner, my family would never ask for anything again 😛

    October 28, 2010 at 7:01 am
  11. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    correction: anything ELSE 😛

    October 28, 2010 at 7:01 am
  12. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Jamie Oliver goodness!!! Yum. Looks so delicious. I love meatballs, one of my favourite foods. Love the dijon in it. Jamie is the best.
    Heidi xo

    October 28, 2010 at 8:26 am
  13. Hannah

    I can’t believe both of these dishes use my current beloved favourite sauce/condiment, worcestershire sauce. It’s like you saw into my SOUL, particularly because I know cheesecake came after this! 😀

    October 28, 2010 at 9:17 am
  14. Ashley

    I’m with Allan! I’m a bit of a measurer hence I like baking!

    That Mac and cheese looks awesome though. Sounds perfect for the cold weather that’s predicted for this weekend…

    October 28, 2010 at 9:40 am
  15. Anna Johnston

    Mac ‘n Cheese for dinner in my house tonight…, love the sound of this one too.

    October 28, 2010 at 10:33 am
  16. msihua

    That looks like a heart attack in a pot that I’d gladly keel over for.. NOM!

    October 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm
  17. A Canadian Foodie

    Thank you for sharing the recipes from your dinner. I was dying to read them. The meatballs look deadly – but the secret is always in the sauce, isn’t it?
    I love Jamie’s recipes and instructions. He is such a faith builder and a CAN DO kind of guy.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:20 am
  18. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    FULL WHACK. Awesome.

    October 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm
  19. Adrian in Food Rehab

    Dayem! That’s pone big pot O mac and cheese. I think it is my duty to help with the eating…count me in for the next Cooking With the books meet up. 🙂

    October 31, 2010 at 8:05 pm
  20. JanJan @ Cooking for My Love

    Wooh! Good recipes for coming up Christmas lunches 🙂

    November 1, 2010 at 10:00 am
  21. Kat @CooksJournal

    yum yum yum .. will be trying out this recipe next time I have a pot luck to go to. Have given this recipe to a friend for her kids – she can leave out the chilli – sure it will be a family favourite.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:39 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      oooo i want to be at that pot luck then 😛 mmmmmmm I want more!

      November 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm
  22. Obesebaby

    wow impress with the amount of spice & ingredients you put in, well done !

    November 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      Thanks! I have Jamie to thank for the recipe!

      November 6, 2010 at 10:36 am
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