Lamb meatballs cooked with tomato, butterbeans and bacon

Lamb meatballs cooked with tomato, butterbeans and bacon

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This dish is really warming and hearty and very simple to make. I used canned beans as it makes it much quicker to complete, and if you have a preference of any bean, or chickpeas, over the butterbeans then feel free to use them. Lovely served on its own, with green veggies, although a good spoonful of buttery mashed potatoes works well too.

Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6


800g RSPCA Assured labelled minced lamb
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
75g flour
vegetable oil for cooking
8 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
200g RSPCA Assured labelled thick cut smoked bacon lardons
2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
750ml tomato passata
1 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained
chopped parsley to garnish


In a large bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients together with 4 tablespoons of cold water until the mixture becomes evenly flavoured.

Divide the mince into 6 even-sized portions, then each portion into 5.  Roll these into balls and toss in the flour to coat.

Heat up a wide, deep pan and add a few tablespoons of the vegetable oil then when hot add some of the meatballs – never crowding the pan.

Cook them evenly all over and when browned remove with a slotted spoon onto a platter while you cook the rest, adding a little extra oil if needed.

Once the last lot are in browning, add the sliced garlic and rosemary to the pan and cook until the garlic, and meatballs, are golden.


Remove the meatballs from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the bacon lardons, then cook until they have coloured.

Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until they caramelise then add the passata, a little salt, the butterbeans and 200ml water.

Bring to the boil and stir well, then return the meatballs to the bubbling sauce.

Turn to a rapid simmer, put a lid on the pan, and cook for 25 minutes.  Taste for seasoning, then serve scattered with parsley.

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