Saturday, 14 March 2015

Frugal fun: turkey, apple and sage meatballs: breadline challenge

I found this in one of those occasional slimming magazines, of which I cannot now remember the name.  I'm not sure now why this caught my eye but it did and as I am looking for recipes that will fit with the Breadline Challenge, this seems to fit the bill.

I will reproduce the recipe below at the end of this entry but I made a tomato and veg sauce rather than use the stock.  This is what I did, with costings.

The meatballs: (ingredients underlined because my waffle rather hides the important info)
450g turkey thigh mince (I prefer it to the breast mince, it has so much more flavour and it is better value)  £2.00
one packet of Morrisons Savers sage and onion stuffing.  I bought this last year when I did Live Below the Line but didn't use it and it had this month's date on it so needed using.  15p
4 tbsp from a jar of savers apple sauce.  The jar was 4 tbsp so what I used cost just under 22p
some pepper estimated at 1p   I didn't add salt because of the stuffing mix but I could have added a little bit, I think.
30 g plain flour for rolling  1p
45 mls oil for frying ( added 15 mls as and when when needed)  4.5p

The sauce:
30 mls veg oil 3p
1 good sized onion, finely chopped.  About 10p
140g peppers from bag chopped mixed peppers (frozen, Morrisons)  22p
1 rib celery, finely chopped  around 6p
half a carrot, grated  7p
a squidge of garlic puree about 6p, (estimate)
1 can chopped tomatoes  34p
a knorr chicken stock pot 25p
50g tomato puree  9p
herbs  approx 3p

Mix the meatball ingredients (except the oil) together and leave for about an hour (it gets the dried stuffing rehydrating which makes the mixture nice and firm).
Using floured hands, roll the mixture into small balls of a size you want.  Mine were a bit larger than marbles because that's the size I wanted - not too big.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meatballs until starting to brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, heat the oil add the onions and gently saute until going soft.  Add the peppers, carrot and celery and continue to fry.  Add the garlic puree and fry, stirring, for about a minute.
Then add the chopped tomatoes with half a can of water (swill it round to get all the chopped tomato out), the knorr stock pot and a goodly pinch of whatever herbs you are using - I used bogstandard mixed herbs.
Stir in the tomato puree.
Bring to a simmer, cover and let it bubble gently until the vegs are cooked.  Add the meatballs, bring to a boil again and simmer them in the sauce for around ten minutes or until they are completely cooked through.

Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Either eat straight away with pasta and maybe a topping of grated Italian hard cheese or cool, portion out and freeze.

For me this made seven portions with six meatballs in each portion (OK, so one portion had five, not six, but that's because I HAD to taste one, didn't I?).  More than enough with some pasta and perhaps a side salad, both of which would need to be priced out in addition.
Each portion was about 53p.  That will do nicely for the Breadline Challenge month, thank you!  Yay!

The actual recipe says:
Ingredients to make 4 servings (it says)
450g turkey mince
8 tbsp sage and onion stuffing mix
4 tbsp apple sauce
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
600mls chicken stock
1 tbsp plain flour

Put the mince, stuffing mix and apple sauce in a bowl and mix well together.  Season with pepper and bring together to form a firm mixture.  Divide into meatballs.  The recips says 12 but I'd go for smaller ones.  less time to cook for a start and more balls per portion.  Chill for 30 mins.

Meanwhile, heat half of the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion until softened.  Set aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and gently fry the meatballs until browned (about 5 mins).  Pour in sufficient stock to just cover the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for about 15 mins.  Drain, reserving the stock, and keep warm.

In the same pan, reheat the onions and add the flour.  Gradually blend in the stock and boil, stirring until thickened.  Simmer for 2 mins.  Pour over meatballs and serve.


  1. Sounds lovely and of course the sage and onion stuffing will stop them from turning into hockey pucks. I love meatballs and you can make them out of just about anything.

  2. They're so versatile, aren't they?
    J x