What else is there to say about a home cooked meal that tastes delicious other than it brings so much comfort to our bellies and our souls! I absolutely love cooked peas, especially when they are cooked into an almost stew-like consistency. Adding some delicious protein completes the dish and makes for a great family dinner, especially on the colder nights. This meatballs with peas recipe also makes for a wonderful near-instant meal on one of those days that you don’t know what to make or for when the fridge and pantry ingredients are running low. This recipe is super simple to prepare, very easy and relatively quick to cook with zero complicated instructions.
HOW TO MAKE THE PEAS
There is absolutely nothing fancy or complicated about cooking the peas. The process is so simple and quick to put together. In a deep pot, heat olive oil and add the onion and garlic. Saute for roughly 2 or 3 minutes until the onions have softened. Add in the frozen peas, two cups of water, salt & pepper and cook on medium heat for roughly 30 minutes until the mixture has thickened. You are looking for a stew-like consistency. This means that you want some liquid to remain but not for the peas to be completely covered in water. Add in more water if you need to during the cooking process but avoid a soup-like consistency.
MAKING THE MEATBALLS
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Using your hands roll the meat into meatballs. Roll each meatball into some extra breadcrumbs. This will give you that extra crunch. Place each one on a plate or chopping board and heat up a large pan with some olive oil. Once the pan has heated up, cook the meatballs on medium heat for roughly four or five minutes on each side. The cooking time can depend on the type of stove you have so keep an eye out. Once the meatballs are cooked serve them on top of the peas. Top with some sour cream and chopped mint leaves.
MAKING THE ROUX
In Serbian cuisine, we often use a “zaprška” (roux) in our cooking. This is basically a simple and basic sauce made with butter (or other fat) flour and seasoning. Zaprška or roux is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat. The flour is added to the melted fat or oil on the stove top, stirred until smooth, and cooked to the desired level of brownness. Zaprška is used as a thickening agent for gravy, soups, stews and sauces.
Once the meatballs have cooked, use the remaining oil from the pan to cook the zaprška (roux). On low heat, add a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of paprika. Stir over the stove top until a smooth consistency forms. Transfer this thickening agent to the cooked stew and stir until it is well combined in the the peas.
This could be your new favorite 30-minute-meal! This easy meatballs and peas dish is great for nights when you forget about dinner until everyone is starving. The meatballs make it nice and hearty. You can also use store bought meatballs to speed things up even more! This recipe is also versatile because you can add any extra chopped vegetables like carrots or potatoes and even add in or swap out any herbs.
Meatballs with peas
- 400 g frozen peas
- 400 g pork mince
- 1 egg
- 2 onions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- olive oil
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp marjoram
- salt & pepper
- 3 tbsp bread crumbs heaped
- 2 cups water
- fresh mint leaves
TO MAKE THE PEAS
- In a deep pot, heat olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic. Saute for roughly 2 or 3 minutes until the onions have softened.
- Add in the frozen peas, two cups of water, salt & pepper and cook on medium heat for roughly 30 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- You are looking for a stew-like consistency. Some liquid should remain but not fully covering the peas. If you need to, add a little extra water throughout the cooking process. The peas shouldn't completely dry out.
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS
- In the mean time, in a large bowl add the mince meat, salt & pepper, chopped onion and chopped garlic. Add in the egg and combine.
- Add three heaped tablespoons of bread crumbs and mix all of the ingredients well. You are looking for a well combined mixture that holds together.
- Start forming meatballs. To make them of similar size, weigh out 60 g from the batter for each meatball. Form each batch into a ball. Roll each ball into some extra bread crumbs, this will give them a nice crunch. Place on a plate or chopping board and set aside.
- In a pan, heat up a tablespoon of oil. Pan fry the meatballs on medium heat for roughly four or five minutes on each side. The time can depend on your stove top. Once they are cooked set them aside.
TO MAKE THE ROUX
- Using the left over oil from the meatballs pan, add in one tablespoon of flour and mix on low heat. Then add in one tablespoon of paprika, combine and transfer this to the pan with the peas. Stir the flour and paprika mixture into the peas and cook for a further three or so minutes until the peas have thickened. Finally, add in the marjoram seasoning. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- To serve, place the meatballs on top of the peas. Serve with some chopped mint leaves and sour cream to add extra flavour.
- Depending on how many people you are cooking for, you can adjust the ingredients. For example if you are cooking for only two people you can use only half the amount of the peas and minced meat.
- You can use store brought meatballs if you are short for time.
- If you do not have fresh mint leaves, opt out for dried mint, or basil (dried or fresh).
Your friends and family are going to love it once you serve up these delicious and comforting meatballs and peas! If you are cooking for two, simply half the quantity of the ingredients or freeze any left overs for another time.