Friday, 4 January 2013

Recipe - meatballs

Frugal Friday

Mummy's Mammoth Meatballs

After a few treats over Christmas, it is back to being careful again in our household. We are not hard up in comparison to so many, but with 3 kids money can disappear very quickly! As I have said before I resent spending our hard earned money without thought and am learning to be more intentional about where and how to spend, resulting in some good savings and more money available to spend on the things we really want.

Frugal Friday 2013

I have had a few requests for some of the recipes that I use for my batch baking family meals so I thought I would start 2013 off with some of those. I need to stock my freezer up again as we relied heavily on these freezer meals whilst I was ill over Christmas, but it meant that everyone still ate well!

I am one of those cooks whose recipes tend to change slightly as the mood takes me and as the larder allows, but I think this adds variety! So do change the things you don't like about this recipe. Adding chilli flakes is a good one. Throw in a spare box of stuffing mix to bind these meatballs together - this is another favourite. Or cut down on the liver if your kids are not big fans.

They are pretty robust. 

There is not much damage you can do with them!

The name Mummy's Mammoth meatballs is not of course the proper name for this dish . It is actually Faggots, which has a different meaning in certain parts of the world and I don't like the name anyway. However, a faggot ( in food terms!) is a pork and liver based meatball, but when the kids saw how big they were compared to the normal beef ones I make they declared 

"Look at Mummy's Mammoth Meatballs" 

....and of course for good or bad that is what they are called. It gives us a good laugh every time anyway.

 Rename as you wish!

These are the measurements for a meal for 5. I make 3 times this in one go and freeze 2 meals. The meatballs are about the size of a tennis ball ( just a bit smaller), but make them the size that suit you - too small and they may fall apart.



750g pack of mince pork
400g minced lambs liver ( or chopped yourself in processor)
Quarter a loaf of breadcrumbs 
One large onion
Fresh chopped herbs ( what you can get - sage and rosemary. Fennel or coriander to add taste.)
One egg
Flour to place meatballs on


Basically to create a 'gravy' for them to cook in. I make a tomato based one as that is what my kids like. Anything goes here.....

Carton of passata
One large onion
Large blob of butter!
Plain Flour
Vegetable stock (1/4 - 1/2 pint depending on how thick you like it) ( or Beef if you prefer)
Tomato puree
Worcestershire Sauce


Chop the onions  
Fry the chopped onion until soft.
Place half the onions in a large bowl with the minced pork, minced liver, breadcrumbs , egg, herbs and seasoning. Put the rest of the onion aside to go in the gravy.
Mix well with your hands.
Flour a surface.
Form the mixture into firm balls about the size of a tennis ball ( excuse the terminology here) and place in a baking dish.
Cook for about 30 minutes at about 180 degrees, turning halfway until cooked through.

Whilst the meatballs are cooking through make the 'gravy'.

Make a base for the gravy by starting with butter and flour then adding the stock with the water. I always use a whisk to make sure of no lumps whatsoever. I then add passata, garlic,herbs, puree, w. sauce, seasoning, the rest of the cooked onion and whatever else you have in the stock cupboard to make it extra tasty! Cook through for a few minutes.

Take the meatballs out of the oven and pour the gravy over the meatballs and return to   the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes until the meatballs have absorbed some of the flavour from the gravy.

Serve with mash or rice and peas.

They freeze beautifully and taste even better second time around! I freeze these once they are totally cooked so they only need to be defrosted and warmed through.

Size of meatballs - never the same!
Ready for cooking.

And two meals for the freezer.

This is one of the cheapest meat based meals you can make. Minced pork and liver are both cheap and easily available. I turn old bread into breadcrumbs and freeze when I get to the end of loaves of bread so I am never short of breadcrumbs. The rest of the ingredients are stock cupboard basics.

Hope you enjoy them!


  1. Hi Claire! They actually look delicious even this early in the morning! I am definitely going to watch my supermarket spends this year!! Hope you are all back to full health now:)
    ~Anne xx

  2. I adore meatballs because I am a huge fan of spagetti, don't know why but I adore it! I make mine pretty basic and small from an old recipe when Jamie Oliver was doing his feed your family for a fiver recipe's for Sainsburys. More recently I have made them using sausagemeat from a Nigella recipe from her recent Italian inspired series, but if I see pork cheap I would happily give your version a try, I always use value tinned chopped tomatoes in my recipes to cut costs, I don't think I have ever bought Passata x

    1. I find passata works better with the kids at the moment, but it's much the same as tinned tomatoes minus the bits!

  3. I won't be eating these as I am a veggi but will give the recipe a try for my husband and kids.

  4. Hmmm...sounds wonderful...will have to try this. Have a wonderful weekend xx

    The Dainty Dolls House

  5. They look really good. I need to do some batch cooking so that I can chuck something in the oven as I'm so busy with the baby I'm not finding time to eat during the day!xx

    1. I find batch baking a real life saver with kids - it means meals even when you dont have the time to cook!

  6. Good grief - look a the size of your meatballs Claire - they look marvellous! My Mum used to make us meatballs in gravy or baked hamburgers when we were little. I always used to get told off for mashing my meatballs up with my potatoes after Mum had taken the time to form them neatly! xx

    1. Fandabidozi aren't they!! Faggots are meant to be big ( not sure how big! ) but the kids can still eat two each! I can only manage one now - lightweight that I am! Hubby of course devours three of these big boys! My beef meatballs are normal size and the kids look almost disappointed when I serve them up!! I don't know what I'm going to feed them when they are proper teenagers - they eat so much now... :O

  7. These sound great! (minus the liver) I love the idea of adding stuffing to the meatballs. This is a definite must-try. My grandma made them with rice inside and called them porcupines. XX

    1. I've made them with apple and stuffing instead of liver which was really,really good - they didn't last long! x Like the name!

  8. Those look so good! I never knew how to make them! Bagging them for a later date is ingenious! Great post!

  9. Oh, wow! These look so delicious!! <3