Friday, 12 August 2011

Lamb meatballs with Romesco sauce

We had a trip to Ilkley. There's a few good reasons why you might go to Ilkley, for us it was meat and cold water.

The cold water in question was the Ilkley Lido. Its about 15 minutes walk out of the town centre, near the rugby club and offers a heated indoor pool as well as an unheated outdoor pool. After getting a lot of enjoyment out of the Lido at Portishead when we lived in Bristol we were keen to go to Ilkley's pool.

It is a very picturesque setting, with Ilkley Moor just a short way up the hill, and the water is very cold. Well, cold anyway. But for the perverse this is all part of the fun.

For the meat we went to Lishman's. Makers of the Yorkshire sausage and an award winning banger - the Champion. Its one of those butchers where you just want to buy a bit of everything. We bought some sausages, we just had to, some pig cheeks and the lamb mince for this dish which I had been wanting to do for a while.

It was extraordinarily good meat. I could almost smell the field that the lamb had been gamboling about in.

Using a pound of mince for two people I seasoned it with salt, pepper and paprika in the absence of pimento - although I don't know if there's a lot of difference. I made the seasoned mince into 10 meatballs and fried them slowly in some olive oil. Once they were nice and brown I added the romesco sauce and just heated it through for a few minutes, and served them with rice.

Romesco is a Spanish, or to be more precise Catalan, sauce of tomatoes, peppers and almonds. I googled for a recipe and found this one.

It was a lovely dish. Rich, slightly spicy and a little sweet with a nice toasted nutty flavour from the almonds which went really nicely with the browned meatballs. Definitely one for the repertoire.

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