Just Pitched Spanish meatballs

Serves 4

Prepare this at home and take it with you in two pots: one containing the sauce, and the other holding the meatballs.
Once at camp, all you need is a one-ring cooker, (or two-ring if you are cooking rice or potatoes), a large, lidded saucepan and wooden spoon. Once pitched, all you need to do is warm the sauce and add the meatballs until they are cooked through.
Serve on the first night outside your tent with Rioja.


For the meatballs
500g minced pork
Grated zest of a lemon
1 dried bay leaf, crushed
1 tbs sherry
Salt and pepper
½ onion grated
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 egg
1 handful breadcrumbs

For the sauce
1 small onion, finely sliced
½ green pepper, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Olive oil
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 small glass sherry
1 pt chicken or vegetable stock (fresh or from cube)
Salt and pepper
½ tin tomatoes
2 tbs parsley, chopped

Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and mix together with your hands for five minutes.
Make the mixture into walnut-sized balls between your palms. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan, for example Le Creuset and when it is very hot, cook the meatballs. If you use a normal frying pan, add a splash of olive oil to cook in.

Brown the meatballs on all sides, do them in two or three batches if necessary. An overloaded pan won’t give you the browned crispy edges you need for this dish. Don’t wriggle the meatballs around, wait until they are brown on one side and then move them over to brown on another side. Do this with a fish slice and slide it under the meatball along the ridge-line of the pan.

What you want is a meatball that is browned and sealed all over but not cooked through. You cook it through once it is in the sauce, thereby keeping it moist but intact. If you are taking the meatballs and sauce separately to reheat at camp, then put the meatballs in a container, and seal it once they have cooled.

Now get on with the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and slowly fry the green pepper, onion and garlic. Once soft, add the sherry and apply a higher heat for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol. Add the stock, tomatoes, paprika, parsley and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then cook gently for ten minutes or so.

At camp, heat the sauce up, add the meatballs and cook gently until they are cooked through: the meat needs to be piping hot. Keep an eye on the consistency of the sauce, not too gloopy and not too thin. Check the seasoning and serve with some carbs. Crusty bread will do perfectly.

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