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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Boulettes - Meatballs with Tomato Sauce



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I should never let my imagination loose in the French peasant kitchen. I find it terribly hard to leave and tend to overstay my welcome. I do, however, hope you'll indulge me if I linger there another day or two. I have some recipes I want to share with you. The frugality of French housewives is legend and their ability to transform the simplest of table scraps into delicious meals only serves to magnify the legend. It does sometimes seem they have the ability to make something out of nothing. Many of you will be serving roast beef for Passover or the Easter holiday. You're bound to have leftovers and boulettes - meatballs - are a great way to use leftover cooked beef. These are very easy to make and they are wonderfully flavorful. Credit for the recipe should go to Jacques Pepin who, while a celebrity chef, is also a wonderful teacher and author. If you have a food processor, preparation of the meatballs and their sauce will go quickly and you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour. The texture of these meatballs is quite soft. If you find they refuse to hold their shape, add small amounts of breadcrumbs until they can be formed, but don't overdo it. The sauce in which the meatballs simmer has diabolical color, but no heat. It is quite thick and you may want to thin it with stock or white wine. The boulettes can be served with pasta or rice, but I love to serve them with French gnocchi, a dish we'll explore tomorrow. Here's how the boulettes are made.

Boulettes - Meatballs with Tomato Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Jacques Pepin and Food and Wine Magazine

Ingredients:
Meatballs
12 ounces leftover roast beef, veal or pork, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, beaten
Vegetable oil, for frying
Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their liquid
1/3 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1) To make meatballs: Put meat in a food processor and process until finely chopped. In a large bowl, mix flour with baking powder and salt. Add chopped meat, onion, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper and eggs and mix with your hands until thoroughly blended. Form mixture into 16 meatballs and flatten slightly.
2) To fry meatballs: Heat 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet until it shimmers. Add meatballs and cook over high heat until browned on bottom. Turn meatballs, reduce heat to moderate and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a large plate.
3) To make sauce: Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic, onion, thyme and oregano and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover and cook over moderate heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, puree sauce until slightly chunky; alternatively, puree the sauce in a food processor and return the sauce to the saucepan. Set aside.
4) To prepare olives: Put olives into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately drain and add to tomato sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and heat through. Serve with pasta, rice or gnocchi Parisienne. Yield: 4 servings.






One Year Ago Today: Eggs in Purgatory














Two Years Ago Today: Crock-Pot: Thai-Style Sweet and Sour Chicken








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59 comments:

Bella said...

These look delicious! And so does that chicken from a couple of years ago - I love the idea of sharing those dishes from a year or two years ago.

Mehjabeen Arif said...

ah.. just a simple and nice presentation.. loved ur earlier posts..

Marsha @ The Harried Cook said...

Thank you for sharing this! For me, this is a new way to use up leftover meat! :) I love the picture too! beautiful presentation...

Lucie said...

Hang out there for a while, Mary--you turn out great recipes! Jacques Pepin is a family favorite here :)

Mamatkamal said...

Nicely presented! We love meatballs especially with a tomato sauce! Have a great day Mary
Cheers

Ana Rita said...

HUMMMM So good with some spaguetti...it's one of my kids favourite dish!

Kisses,
Rita

tandysinclair.com said...

you are tantalizing my taste buds with all that is to come on our trip to France tomorrow :)

Priya said...

Salivating here, those meatballs tempts me a lot..

Big Dude said...

These look delicious Mary and I could easily envision them as a side for the eggs in purgatory.

Ana Powell said...

Outstanding, always presenting us beautiful dishes.
Great work ♥

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Perfect meatballs. I may have to give these a try over the weekend.
Thanks for sharing your lovely recipes.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Boulettes sounds so much more appetising than meatballs!! Why is that?!?!

And the colour is a bonus for me!

Have a great day!!

Rita said...

Jacques Pepin is one of my favourites; love his calming voice and his recipes. I remember making meatballs when my boys were growing up(french canadian was always spoken in our house) and they would call them bullets.
Rita

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

What a clever way to use left over roast beef!!

From the Kitchen said...

I've never done (or seen) a recipe for meatballs using cooked beef. So glad your mind arrived in Provence and continues to linger about. Stay as long as you like and I'll be checking to see what you come up with.

Best,
Bonnie

Kim said...

I like this french versio of the boulettes! Next time I will have a roast, I'll thing of these!

bellini said...

This is wonderful Mary. How easily cuisine is influenced in Eurpoean countries.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

What a neat idea Mary!
PS-I'm lovin' your one and two year ago snipits too:@)

lostpastremembered said...

I've never thought of making meatballs with cooked meat... great way of getting rid of leftovers!!! Love meatballs!

Marysol said...

Making meatballs with leftover meat is a whole new concept with me.
And judging by the ingredients, not to mention, the mouthwatering photos, this dish seems simple, practical and delicious!

Jenn said...

Can I just have those for Easter instead? I do love a good meatball...the Italian in me can't get enough...even if they are meatballs from France :) YUM!

Suman Singh said...

Delicious and tempting meatballs...Liked the idea of sharing those dishes posted on the same day a year and two years ago..

Clint said...

I am sorry---I apologize in advance, dear Mary----but these meatballs and sauce are going into a sub sandwich, which I plan on consuming with great gusto. Thank you!

Tierney said...

These look so good! You should make them for me! I actually really don't like spaghetti--even though most noodles seem to be created equal, the way it feels just grosses me out. I'm always guilty of being a brat and picking out the meatballs. :)

You have such a pretty, yummy blog. You should have me over for dinner!

Tier
www.rubywoolovesyou.com

Parsley Sage said...

...i need these meatballs.

I need the gnocchi you're gonna be posting later this week too.

Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

They look so good!

Jill Colonna said...

Gosh. Your post is so inspiring for using up the leftovers, I'd do anything to ensure that nobody ate much meat at the table just so I could make your meatballs!

lena said...

so tasty looking and full of flavours! have a great day, mary!

June said...

These look fabulous! Who says leftovers have to be boring. Can't wait for the french gnocchi!

Wendy Irene said...

I never thought to make meatballs out of leftovers. That is an excellent idea. There is so much you could do. Thanks for the inspiration!!

Gloria said...

This look yummy Mary, love meatballs, have a nice day, gloria

PeggyR said...

Oh yum another great sounding recipe.

CkretsGalore said...

Those look tasty! I never thought of meat balls with left over Roast Beef.

I too, hate to waste food. Generally I only have a total of 6 days to cook a month and the rest of the time I'm stuck in campfood. So the 3 days before I head home I do meal planning and I do try to make things that will have little waste and/or can be used in another recipe. I also freeze what I can to bring up with me. You can blame quitting smoking and camp food for this extra 15lbs (*cough* maybe a bit of laziness after a 10 hour work day too. haha) so I try to bring my own grub since it has half the sodium and fat!!

PS. I love your blog!

Christine Wu said...

Looks delicious! I've never made meatballs with food processor before, and it sounds like a really great idea.

That Girl said...

The tomato sauce perfectly grips every curve of these.

Emily Malloy said...

That looks so delicious!

Claudia said...

Jacques Pepin is a wonder. And the meatballs just look so substantial! I love the idea of a meatball dinner without the pasta! (And I'm all about pasta)

Joanne said...

It sounds like French peasants really know where it's at! These meatballs sound delicious! An excellent use of leftovers.

Karen Harris said...

Lovely recipe Mary. I too so admire the frugal European home cook. They have a way of turning scraps into a feast. This looks delicious.

Jennifurla said...

I love your whole description of this meal, I could curl up to a hefty bowl of this.

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

I have never heard of meatballs from cooked meat before...I am very intrigued! They look fabulous!

Natalie said...

yum--love the look of this and last year's egg dish!

Valérie said...

My father-in-law is Italian, not French, but he too is a master at recycling table scraps, and (meat)balls are a staple. We often make it a game of guessing what is in the balls (saurkraut was tough to guess), but it always tastes great. These meatballs look delicious, and it's a great idea to post this just before Easter!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Really delicious looking meatballs, lovely ingredients, it's my mother in law's birthday tomorrow and she loves meatballs, I think I'm going to cook these! thanks
Mary

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Oh Mary these look so delicious. I wish I could grab them off that plate!

Ginny said...

I haven't had meatballs for so long, and I would really like to dig into that plate!!

His Way or Her Way said...

Mary. . .Thank you so much for stopping by His Way or Her Way and leaving a comment. We are just getting the blog started. I found your blog to be exceptional. You are doing a fabulous job on it. Blessings. . .

Lori

What's next said...

Looks wonderful and love that it can be made with left over meat.

Jeannie said...

Another delicious presentation from you Mary, I simply love to drool over your wonderful looking food photos:)

Kankana said...

They looks so delicious .. last time I tried making meat balls with chicken .. it was a disaster .. so dry and rough.. god knows what went wrong! will follow your recipe next time.

Srivalli said...

First time here and your pictures are really good..and that year back post with pictures is really neat idea..

Holly said...

These look delicious Mary! Always love your photos : )

yummychunklet said...

This looks delicious! I've always wanted to make meatballs delicious enough to stand on their own. I'll have to try your recipe!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Those meatballs LOOKs so huge and awesome. :)

Victor said...

Thet are a lot of flavors in these meatballs. Love it!

Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook said...

Perfect comfort food in my opinion. You always have the best, Mary.

Elaine said...

These look fantastically good!

Bizzy said...

Including olives in the sauce is inspiration. I see how it would change the flavor in the very best way.

Natasha Green ★ said...

This looks so tasty! No need for pasta! Thank you for sharing this recipe :)
I wanted to let you know that I have tagged you in an Easter menu tag game, I was invited by the cajunlicious blogger. Please visit my blog to find out more and to participate.
All the best, Natasha from the Rambles and Shambles blog!

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