Shameless Self Promotion Number One Meatball

“One Meatball” is a song my family sang after dinner when I was a kid, with my sister on guitar. We did that, sang around the table, which sounds so archaic now. It breaks my heart to think how earnest my parents were and heartfelt too. The folk revival took place in our house, too, with one sister playing banjo and one guitar, and with all of us singing songs after dinner – the Weavers and Josh White and Pete Seeger. It embarrasses me to think about it, while simultaneously filling me up with warmth and nostalgia.

The song, “One Meatball” seems funny, but it is not. It’s sad actually, particularly now when many who have enough have SO much and those who do not have SO little. Growing up we lived in that in-between – frugal and in lots of company. The camaraderie of it felt very safe to me as a child and I wonder, does my child feel safe that way, in this world now? I hope so, but think not.


Photo by Renee Comet and styling by me for Meat and Livestock Australia for Home Chefs

These meatballs, should you have a piece of bread or, even better, a nice crusty roll, would make a killer sandwich. Slop the sauce all over the place. Your napkin and shirt will be wrecked and your mom will want to kill you!

The song has an interesting story and you can read about it here if you like. Put on your modest face and read. I did and am the richer for it.

Lamb Feta Meatballs with Rich Tomato & Olive Sauce
Yield: 4 servings  
Portion Size: 4 – 2 oz Meatballs  
Alternate cuts:    
Amount Prep Ingredient
2#   Australian Ground Lamb
3 each   Large Eggs
1 ½ cups   Breadcrumbs
¾ cup crumbled Feta Cheese
½ tsp   Red Pepper Flakes
2 each minced Garlic Cloves
2 T chopped Parsley
2 T chopped Mint
1 each zest only Lemon
TT   Salt
TT ground Black Pepper
As Needed   Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce    
2 T   Olive Oil
2 each finely sliced Shallots
4 each crushed Garlic Cloves
2# canned, chopped Tomatoes
2 T chopped Thyme
¼ cup Pitted Green Olives
¼ cup Pitted Black Olives
½ tsp   Superfine Sugar
Method of Preparation    
1.     To make meatballs, mix all ingredients very well until mixed thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes in refrigerator.
2.     Roll meatballs into 1.5 inch balls, using hands dipped in warm water to avoid sticking.
3.     Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium high heat.
4.     Sear off meatballs in batches until browned on all sides. Place meatballs on an sheet tray and set aside.
5.     For the sauce, heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat and sauté the shallot and garlic for 5 minutes or until the shallot is translucent.

6.     Add the canned tomatoes and thyme and reduce the heat to low.

7.     Simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce comes to the boil, stirring constantly to avoid sauce sticking and burning.

8.     Once sauce is at desired consistency, add olives and then season accordingly and add sugar. If sauce is too acidic add a little more sugar.

9.     To serve, cook lamb meatballs in 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes or until cooked.

10.  Heat sauce and then add meatballs to sauce.

11.  Serve in pot or serving dish, garnishing with freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges.


2 responses to “Shameless Self Promotion Number One Meatball

  1. What a wonderful story, memory, and actual event –this makes me absolutely in love with your parents for life.

  2. Thanks so much, Karen. You must make a lot of music around your house, too, with you on guitar. It’s gotta be nice!

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