Spicy Meat Ovoids

It’s that time of the month again! No, not the communists-in-the-gazebo-time, but discount ground beef time! And this time we’re talking proper deli shit at a small fraction of the original price (which in hindsight means I shouldn’t have seasoned it so heavily).

To start with, remove the ground meat from the fridge. It’s going to be much more cooperative at room temperature. After that’s been taken care of, chop up and  sear a carrot and a red onion.

Second, put the above in a bowl together with salt, pepper, an egg, a splash of milk, a spoonful of tomato paste and as much garlic and parsley as you want. Then have at it with a hand blender.

Once the contents of the bowl is a smooth goo, rummage through your herbs and spices stash and choose what to use. I started out with coriander seeds, onion seeds, allspice, black mustard seed and cardamom. Toast in a pan.

And then grind it up and add to the bowl. I also added some cinnamon, sumac, cumin, turmeric, chili powder and nutmeg and the tiniest hint of saffron.

In my opinion, the garlic and parsley are key to achieving the flavour I’m aiming for, which is probably something with an air of the eastern Mediterranean area. The closest I’ve been is Crete and in most restaurants we visited there they either served deep fried calamares or microwaved moussaka. What I mean is – use the spices you like.

Add a pound of minced beef and mix thoroughly. Using your hands is the most effective way, but be aware that everything you touch on the way to the hand soap afterwards will turn greasy and yellow. Put the bowl away for a while and go prepare the side dishes. I’m having rice with fried leeks but I forgot to take pictures (but rice isn’t that exciting).

While the rice simmers away, roll the meat mixture into balls or the shape you prefer. The meat sludge thingy should be fairly loose in the sense that these balls won’t stay in shape for more than a couple of minutes. This means they’ll still be juicy, even after being cooked well done.

And then it’s just about time to fry away. I roll the meat into balls only because it’s easier to make them the same size that way. Before I fry them I flatten them, which makes searing them evenly easier and cooking through faster.

As you will notice about now if you do this my way, half-heartedly squashed patties shrink and get thicker at the center when heated, which is why the title says ‘ovoids’ and not ‘balls’.

90 seconds per side and then done! Much easier than fiddling with round balls that need a constantly shaking pan.

Dinner accomplished. I’d assume a yoghurt-y something, like tzatziki, would fit in rather well on that plate, but I didn’t think about that until afterwards.


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