I enjoy meatballs on their own, especially in a sandwich, but meatballs with gravy just give me this weirdly nostalgic feeling. Something warm and comforting on the inside that fills me up with ease.
We are going to begin our process with the preparation of the meatballs and spices. Before jumping in though, preheat your oven to 180℃ so it is ready when we get to the potatoes.
I find that when making meatballs it is best to get all the aromatics mixed in well and allow the mixture to sit for some time before using. It given a sense of tenderness and distributes the flavour well.
Place the ground beef in a medium-large sized bowl. Take the sausages out and squeeze out the sausage meat from the casing into the same bowl with the ground beef. Through in all the spices listed above and mix that well into the meat. Make sure to mix it well enough that the meat starts to stick ti itself easily. This will help with binding later in the process. The fat in the meat slightly melts from working the meat in the same fashion you would knead dough which then gives it the right properties to stick together.
You will likely take about 5-10 minutes to get it all nicely mixed through if you are mixing with your hands as I did. Let that sit cover on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes.
Now to move onto the potatoes. Unlike most people I rarely blanch or boil my potatoes before baking, I go with a slightly different approach which I find produces similar results.
Take your potatoes and rise them off but do not peel the skin unless you prefer to have no skin. Place one potato on a cutting board, as it sits comfortably you want to slice into the potato as if you were going to cut rings but stop 2/3 of the way in. Repeat this until you have gotten to the end of the potato. It should now have a ribbed look to it. Continue this process with all the potatoes.
Line an oven tray or Dutch oven with some oil. I like to use olive oil when roasting vegetables. Place the potatoes inside the dish and coat the top of each potato with the very same oil. Now you will want to sprinkle the salt and black pepper over the potatoes to get an even distribution. Once done take your butter and place little blocks throughout the dish. They will melt and add that bit of extra flavour.
Cover the dish with foil or the lid and place it in the oven for 1 hour.
The potatoes are on their way to getting sorted you can use this time to continue with the meatballs.
Making the meatballs can seem tricky but that is all it is in the end. You get the hang of making them with a little practice and once you find that aha moment you will want to make so many variations to please your unique palate.
Get a clean surface area where you can lay out the meatballs as you shape them. Take an amount equal to about a golf ball size and roll this in your hands you create a ball. Repeat this process until the meat mixture has all been transformed into meatballs.
Place a large pan over a medium-low heat with some butter in the pan, about 1 tablespoon. Once the butter has melted place each meatball into the pan and cover for about 10 minutes to cook.
Turned the meatballs over and cover again. Repeat this process every 10 or so minutes as the meatballs cook through while also releasing delicious goodness into the pan. This grease will become your base for the gravy at the end. Continue with this process until the potatoes are cooked.
If the heat seems high or that the meatballs are browning quickly then turn down the heat slightly. The idea is to try and cook the meatballs slowly so that they render out the fat easily while maintaining a soft and moist texture.
After the potatoes have been cooking for an hour, take the cover off the top and allow to cook for another 30-40 minutes. At this stage you want to get the outer layer of the potato to firm up, then crisp up. I find that sometimes I need to use the grill for the last 5 or so minutes. But take as you see fit and bake them as you like them. After all you have to eat it.
Once the potatoes and meatballs are done you can switch off the oven and the stove. Take the meatballs out of the pan, leaving the rendered fat in the pan, and place them into a heat proof dish with a lid. Allow them to rest in the dish covered while you prepare the gravy.
Get the pan that had the meatballs in them onto a low heat. Put in the flour and stir until it is all mixed together nicely. It will look somewhat gross at this point but trust that it will comes together. Keep stirring slowly. Let the flour and fat combo just sizzle a tiny bit to cook the flour a little.
Start adding milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time while stirring. Keep doing this until it starts to smooth out becoming a delicious gravy. Once it is smooth and emulsified then turn off the heat and pout over the meatballs.
Ready to serve.
I hope you do enjoy this recipe.
Check out: Peanut Butter & Honey Roast Chicken for more inspiration.