Steamed Fennel & Sage Ground Meat Rolls with Spicy Plum, Ginger & Thyme Chutney
I got a little adventurous in the kitchen this evening- but at the same time, there was so little work involved... it was quite amazing how quickly I put this little treat together!
These would make a great party dish or appetizer- absolutely packed with tangy, rich flavor- delicious, healthy and refreshingly different!
Sage gave the ground meat rolls a wonderfully Autumnal flavor and using plums to make this tangy and fruity chutney was the perfect compliment- maybe exotic sounding at first, but basically a simple, seasonal dish.
I managed to make 4 meatballs and enough chutney to serve with them (it was just an experiment after all!), from 300g of mixed ground beef and pork, some breadcrumbs, 2 Spring onions, 9-10 fresh plums and some parsley, sage, lemon, chili and thyme... a small investment for such a great reward!
I decided to steam the meat rolls, basically to keep all of the flavors trapped-in and intense- as well as of course to cut out any unnecessary fat... you know me! There was absolutely no fat added to this dish- it relied solely on the fat that was already in the ground meat. That's just the way I like it! Grilled would have been perfect too... yut you know what our weather has been like over here in Frankfurt this year... ugh!
As always- there was a little chopping to do before I could get started on the cooking. The plums and Spring onion relatively fine... the chili and ginger as fine as possible!
For the chutney, I put the plums, half of the onion, the finely chopped chili and ginger and 3-4 sprigs of thyme into a small saucepan with a little salt and pepper. I turned up the heat ans started them cooking together, stirring all the time, until the plums began to give off their juices. I continued cooking on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for the next 20-25 minutes, which was plenty of time to get busy with preparing the ground meat.
After around 15 minutes of cooking, I added the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I stirred these in well and let it continue gently simmering and rendering down.
In the meantime, I mixed the ground meat together with 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, the remaining Spring onion, the finely chopped parsley, a good teaspoon of fennel seeds, salt and pepper and kneaded it together thoroughly.
Once it was nicely mixed together, I divided the meat up into 4 portions and began bringing them into shape.
I rolled them out into little "sausages", if you will, as I thought they would cook quicker and finished each roll off by adding 2 aromatic sage leaves to each.
I then laid them out on a sheet of cling film around 2" apart and began to roll them up tightly.
I twisted the 2 rolls together out of 1 sheet of cling film- this made them easier to handle.
Before serving, I slid them out of their cling-film wrapper, straight back into the drained saucepan, and let them sizzle a little in their own juices. This allowed them to brown slightly and to pick up a little more surface aroma.
And all that I can say is that along with the tangy, sweet, sour and spicy plum chutney... they made a great combination!
I love how flavorful these are without having any added fat... and with the equally healthy chutney, they made these into a real treat with no guilt-factor! You see folks- it IS doable!