Beef and Cheddar Meatballs
Beef and cheddar meatballs are a great way to add flavour to this staple dish. Who doesn’t like meatballs? Minced (ground) meat is just so cheap and convenient, and there are a lot of lower fat versions available now. My first meatball recipe uses lemon and sage to add extra flavour – almost reminiscent of sage and onion stuffing with a pork roast.
My three year old, however, finds the flavours in those a little too sophisticated. And who doesn’t love a big pile of cheese? These meatballs are the perfect family friendly meal. My son has talked about them repeatedly since I made them, but they’re no childish novelty. The cheese is mixed in so thoroughly you can’t see it there but that sharp cheddar tang rounds off the flavour beautifully.
Extra mature cheddar was the obvious choice for these cheddar meatballs as it’s what we usually buy. If you choose a cheese that is sold as mature, vintage, aged/old or sharp the flavour will really pop, but the natural taste of the beef won’t be overwhelmed. If you prefer you could try substituting other strongly flavoured cheese such as a blue cheese. I can’t stand blue cheese, so I’ll be sticking with cheddar!
I could never get meatballs to stick together until I tried using my blender. In this instance I blended just the onion and cheese, then added the meat, bread and seasoning one at a time. If you don’t have a blender by all means try chopping or grating everything up small and hand mixing it. I’d love to try blending the other ingredients then mixing in grated cheese so you get little hits of cheese throughout the meat, yum.
I cooked these in the oven, but you could also poach them in sauce or gravy in a skillet or frying pan. They freeze well and taste just as good reheated.
These bold flavoured meatballs are easy to make and will appeal to children and adults alike. Calories given are per meatball.
- 1 medium onion
- 4 oz extra mature cheddar 113 g
- 1 slice bread
- 17.5 oz lean beef mince 500g
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 25 g margarine to grease
Roughly chop the onion and cheese and tear up the bread.
Blend the onion and cheese in a food processor. Add the bread, then the meat and seasoning.
Grease a baking tray. Take a handful of mixture and roll it around in one hand to shape. Place on the tray, and repeat until you have no more mixture.
Heat the oven to gas mark 6 (200C/400F). Cook for 20 minutes or until starting to brown and cooked through, turning once.