Everyday Comfort Food — Cuisine réconfortante de tous les jours

Veal and Pork Meatballs with Carrot Sauce

Oh, I know that you might look at this and scratch your head, thinking: “What is she thinking?” Not very seasonal, non? But wait! This is really a subjective topic, isn’t it? Comfort food should never be seasonal. Beside, even when it is hot and summery outside, I do not necessarily crave cold foods.

I am like this.

And not alone. Take countries like India or China: you soon realize that the idea ingrained in public belief that cold food helps to cool down is only a myth. Cold food in your stomach is never going to be as nicely digested as warm food. The Chinese believe in this, and I like this theory too — of course, you do not have to agree. It however works well for me even if, like everyone else, I can crave and eat cold foods too — I am still salivating at the thought of the cold leek parsnip vichyssoise eaten recently at lunch with P.

But when I need comfort, then warm food are the buzz words!

With leftovers of ground veal used to prepare stuffed zucchinis, I imagined making meatballs flavored with carrot — another good reason to get that juicer I told you about. I wanted to pair the sweetness of a carrot-flavored sauce and the softness in taste of veal. Did it work? Probably so when I acknowledge to you that during the course of the last two weeks, I prepared the recipe a few times.

Not that I am lacking cooking imagination, or anything of the kind — there is always desire and inspiration to make good food — but simply because my schedule has been recently busy with a fun project. I cannot yet tell you everything about it but if you are curious — like my friend N. — I can tell you that I am currently doing the food styling and food photography of a baker’s cookbook. And I am blessed since her recipes work as a charm.

So when I spend my days baking, styling and photographing, the thought of a comforting dish bringing a nice relaxing end to my days is quite welcomed. In fact, I thought that you too might like to have a recipe like this handy, when life gets too busy on your side of the fence. It is great on the first day, and the next.

And even the one after the next.

Leftovers at their best.

Veal and Pork Meatballs with a Carrot Sauce

You need:

  • 1 lb + 2 oz mix of ground veal and pork (or just one)
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 grated peeled carrot
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 cups homemade light vegetable broth
  • Juice of 2 fresh carrots
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 Roma tomatoes or 6 to 7 cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


Steps:

  • In a large bowl, blend together the ground meats with half of the onion, grated carrot, pine nuts, parsley. Add 1 Tbsp cornstarch and the egg, and mix well with a wooden spoon or your hand. Season with salt and pepper and shape walnut-sized meatballs between the palms of your hands (makes about 15 to 16 according to size).
  • Place cornstarch in a plate and roll the meaballs lightly in it; set aside.
  • In a large thick-bottomed cocotte, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and when hot, add the onion. Cook on medium heat for 2 min. Add the meatballs and brown them on each side for a few minutes.
  • Add the broth and the carrot juice.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice, the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook uncovered on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with brown rice or white rice.
Le coin français
Boulettes de veau et porc, sauce à la carotte

Ingrédients :

  • 500 g mélange de porc et veau haché
  • 1 petit bouquet de persil, haché
  • 1 oeuf
  • 2 à 3 càs de maïzena
  • 1 petit oignon rouge, haché
  • Sel et poivre
  • 1 carotte râpée
  • 2 càs de pignons de pin
  • 50 cl de bouillon de légumes léger maison
  • Jus frais de 2 carottes
  • Un peu de jus de citron
  • 3 tomates Roma ou 6 à 7 tomates cerises, sans pépins et coupées en dés
  • 2 càs d’huile d’olive


Étapes :

  • Dans une jatte, mélangez les vianches hachées avec la moitié de l’oignon rouge, la carotte, les pignons de pin, le persil, puis ajoutez 1 càs de maïzena et 1 oeuf. Salez et poivrez, puis formez des boulettes de la taille d’une grosse noix entre les paumes de vos mains (environ 15 à 16 selon la taille).
  • Roulez-les dans de la maïzena; réservez.
  • Dans une cocotte, faites revenir le reste d’oignon rouge dans 2 càs d’huile d’olive et faites dorer les boulettes quelques minutes sur chaque côté.
  • Ajoutez le bouillon de légumes et le jus de carottes.
  • Ajoutez un peu de jus de citron, les tomates, du sel et du poivre et faites mijoter environ 20 minutes sur feu doux à moyen, sans couvrir.
  • Rectifiez l’assaisonnement et servez avec du riz complet ou blanc.
Posted in Gluten Free, Meat | 43 Comments

43 comments

  1. I agree too. Warm and even spicy food can be eaten any time of the year ! The most important is that it’s as good as on your pictures ! Delicious always to read your blog !

  2. In China’s Sichuan province they believe that you should eat very spicy hot pot (as in, fistfuls of chilli peppers in the broth) in the summer so that you sweat and cool down better. And hot tea is still the beverage of choice any time of the year.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your food photography project!

  3. trop mignonnes les petites cuillères elles ressemblent un peu à celles de “Bonne maman” des petits pois à la place du Vichy !

  4. I don’t care if it’s seasonal or not, because I could just eat that dish right now!!! Delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. les boulettes j’adore en faire ..on peut y mettre des tonnes de choses, une nouvelle decouverte culinaire a chaque bouchee…

  6. *Dives head first into the bowl of meatball and rice*

    Gorgeous!! I love how you used the reds in that last photo!!

  7. i am also one of those who makes beef stew in the summer and at least once a week we have chicken noodle soup (one of my favorite dishes to make and eat). nothing fancy but so comforting like you say. what a fun project in hand… i wish i was that lucky that you could style and photograph my food…

  8. What a fun project! Just the other day I made short ribs and this morning it is fresh tomato basil soup from a friends garden (tomatoes that is). Anything with veal works!

  9. Congrats on your fun baking-styling-photographing project (lots of work!), sounds great, keep me updated when the book will published. I loved your idea of comfort food, anytime of the year as far as it is comforting.

  10. Great news on the project Béa. Can’t wait to see the finished product Keep us up to date.

  11. Ah une petite sauce à la carotte..c’est sympa comme idée et cela change du fond de sauce classique…d’ailleurs j’aime ce qui change de l’ordinaire..bravo Béa….

  12. Yes, solidly starchy and yellowish/orangish in color veggies like carrots and winter squash make a great base for sauces–a fave I make for a friend who can’t eat tomatoes is a mix of pureed acorn squash thinned with broth and lemon juice, it tastes v much like tomatoes and resembles cream of tomato soup.

    Summer cooking is made pleasant by having a cuisine d’ete (and not just a barbecue pit!) I think that the heat generated by cooking/baking is a put-off for some during the hot months, and not really the hot food itself.

    In our household, we scoff down borscht with beef/onion dumplings, chicken pot pie, choucroute garnie, and lasagne throughout the summer. My kitchen has a door and huge French doors and veranda windows, so I make it an impromptu cuisine d’ete by closing the kitchen door and opening all the rest!

  13. I agree with you. Many (all?) of the hot countries of the world have hot spicy cuisine: India, Thailand, Mexico, Caribbean countries etc. I myself have a weakness for Thai food. From my childhood in the tropic, I have a special comfort food – somewhat reminiscent of satay but not quite the same – made with peanut butter, tomatoes, onions, ginger, chili peppers etc. It’s good hot or cold, with rice, noodles or bread canapes. With meat, grilled veggies tec. Real spicy real comfort food!

    Thanks for the recipe, Bea. It looks yummy – I will try it with ground pork as I have lot of it in my freezer (I bought 1/2 a pig a few weeks ago…)

  14. What delicious leftovers! I’m already planning to make this next week. It’s perfect for a single cook like me because not only did you USE leftovers, but you MADE leftovers. Thank you in advance for helping me make everyone at work jealous of my brown bag lunches :-)
    P.S. I love the colors in the second photograph and am insanely jealous of your life/career.

  15. That sounds very interesting. Don’t think I have ever had anything quite like that. I love the photo with the cute napkins and forks.

    Thanks,
    Sharona May

  16. It’s about 95 degrees today here in the south of France (un bon 35, hélas) but those meatballs still look good. I’m making petits farcis tonight, stuffing little round zucchinis and the first beautiful tomatoes, and I’ll be sure to save some of the stuffing meat for trying this recipe. Et après, directe à la piscine!

  17. Yummy! YUMMY! YUMMY! This is such a tease as I’m on a detox and the moment and I’m about to fall off the wagon! I’ll just have to do with licking the screen ;( Great photography!

  18. Many thanks everyone! Ah yes, no matter what the temperatures are, this is good any time, isn’t it? To the point of cooking it a few times in the same week indeed. I can be like that too ;-) Worse things could happen, non ?

  19. Je sais qu’à partir d’aujourd’hui, certains blogs vont être en vacances. Quelques-uns partiront, d’autres resteront dans leur ville. Par ce message, je voulais vous souhaiter à tous de superbes vacances, avec si possible le soleil, un soupçon de bonheur, des rayons de joie de vivre…et un plein de souvenirs à raconter pour la rentrée. Repos, farniente, détente…, et je tiens bien fort la main de ceux qui ont des petits soucis dans leurs familles. Je suis de tout cœur avec eux. Bises et à bientôt.

  20. Bonjour Béa,
    Nous avons essayé ta recette hier soir. Verdict: tellement bon qu’on en a presque oublié de parler! Merci beaucoup pour cette nouvelle réussite, si facile à faire et délicieuse.
    A bientôt pour ta nouvelle recette de dessert ;-)
    th

  21. I am sure this won’t be a popular comment amongst your readers, but I am disappointed to see that you are featuring a veal recipe on your blog. I find it fairly jarring and a bit creepy that you promote this sunny little life of yours and then make it clear that you live it on the backs of defenseless calves who live a short, brutal life. That is the part of ‘foodies’ I cannot abide – they often seem quite amoral in their dining choices.

  22. Hi Jena,

    Not a problem. I appreciate your comment all the same. I never claimed that my blog was a vegetarian one, although you should know that I was a vegetarian for 10 years. Life just took its course differently for me for many reasons, and I do not regret my choices. We cannot all agree on everything, whether it is about food or values. I am probably as happy to stick to mine as you are to yours, and this is fine by me. Thanks for your comment!

  23. Dear Bea, I am Chinese. I have been told seen I was small that cold food or drinks are not good for your body. I must say it’s very difficult to stick to this rule at all times but I do try my best. I still crave for cold drinks in hot summer. Amazing, my husband who is Dutch has bought into this belief totally. Thx for the inspiring recipe.

  24. Hi Béa,

    Love your recipes and photos!
    Little question: If I can’t get any fresh carrot juice, can I use store bought carrot juice or substitute it with something else?

    Thanks!

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