Reuben mixing the mince

Beef & Pork Meatballs #HealthyRedMeat

17th September 2017

We were recently invited to take part in the #HealthyRedMeat challenge by BritMums.
We have a varied diet when it comes to meats and obviously we have to tailor what we have to suit not just ourselves as parents but a three-year old and a one year old. Both of the children find eating slices of beef or pork difficult so to get red meat into their diets we eat things such as Meatballs or Spaghetti Bolognese. Both are wins in our house. For this challenge we went with one of the children’s favourites, meatballs!

There have been some negative views around red meat recently and experts are worried that these views are overshadowing the nutritional benefits of eating it. Red meat provides a wide range of important nutrients, such as Iron, Zinc, B vitamins, Selenium and Potassium. These nutrients are often low in toddlers and children. Dr Emma Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist and mother, says: “Including a small portion of red meat in the diet a few times a week after weaning can help to bridge nutrient gaps and so help to maintain good health through childhood and beyond.

Pork & Beef Meatballs with Tagliatelle

Now that Reuben is almost four I like to get him involved in as much of the food preparation as possible. Learning to cook from scratch is important, even if it is basic. Reuben loves getting involved and he will ask questions about why he is doing what he is doing.I hope that by teaching him to eat and cook well at a young age, he will have a better understanding when he is older about why eating a varied diet is important.

This was a very simple dish to make.

Ingredients

Meatballs

(The Meatballs recipe was taken from BBC Good Food)

4 quality pork sausages
500g lean beef mince
1/2 onion finely chopped
Flat parsley
50g breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten

To make the meatballs, split the sausage skins and squeeze out the meat into your mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and seasoning. Get your hands in and mix together really well (this was Reuben’s job)– the more you squeeze and mash the mince, the more tender the meatballs will be.

Roll the meatballs into balls and place on a lined baking tray. Pop in a preheated oven (220C) and roast for about 30 minutes, or until browned.

uncooked meatballs

Tomato Sauce

1 tin of chopped tomatoes
500ml of a good beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
Oregano
Nutmeg
Onion
2 Garlic gloves
Olive or Vegetable Oil

Heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic (I use easy garlic) and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, beef stock and tomato puree. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Any large lumps of tomato can be pressed with your spoon. Add the oregano and nutmeg to taste – I used about 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg. Mix well.

Cook the tagliatelle/spaghetti as per the packet.

Once the sauce is the consistency that you enjoy add in your meatballs and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until warmed through.

For serving we would normally pour the meatballs and sauce into the tagliatelle and mix it together to coat the pasta. However Reuben doesn’t like it mixed and so we serve the meatballs on top to save any meltdowns at dinnertime.

The Verdict

Well, the rate in which Jessica ate hers was phenomenal and so I take it that this was a firm approval.
Reuben was silent. Reuben is only ever silent when he is eating food he enjoys or asleep. Once he had finished he said it was delicious and I could make it again.
Sam managed a thumbs up. He also took my left over meatball as I couldn’t finish my dinner.
I was going to take photos of the family enjoying it but when I saw how quickly they were eating it was camera down and time to dig in!

MeatballsThis post is an entry for the BritMums #HealthyRedMeat challenge, sponsored by the Meat Advisory Panel.
We were provided a £10 Tesco Voucher to purchase ingredients for this post.

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  • Lucy Grace Healey

    Looks so scrummy! Great to see kids getting involved with cooking too! Thank you so much for joining in with the first ever #HoneybeeLinky, I hope you can join in again next week! Xx

    • Reuben loves helping out, I’m hoping he stays as enthusiastic as he is now