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December 13, 2017

The winner of Meatball Challenge and a recipe that made me jump with joy!

Posted on December 21, 2012 by in beef

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Who makes the best meatball in South Africa? The search was on, after our epic meatball cook-off with the judges of the TV series Dinner Divas! I wanted to know who makes the best meatball and what is their secret. I received numerous entries and the secret ingredients used, were as colorful as our precious nation!

Now, firstly I have to say, this competition was totally subjective…… I wanted to know! My benchmark or my frame of reference was simple….I want a meatball that tastes like the ones I remember from my childhood. I have many stories to share about Griet, our cook, who worked for us for so many years. Amongst all her beautiful attributes, was the fact that she cooked the most delicious meatballs in the most unconventional way. All she had available, was good beef, salt, pepper, bread and onion and maybe some days a little  fine cloves!

The secret I have come to learn is that the secret is NOT in the ingredient list, but in the COOKING METHOD. Griet knew that, but I have only realised it know. You see, Griet used to braise about 3 onions in a pot( not Le Creuset…just a common old Hart pot) until the onions where all brown and caramelly. She then made the meatballs and placed the meatballs on top of the braised onions, almost filled the pot with water and then merrily started cleaning the house from the far end, leaving the meatballs to do their own thing! Every now and then, she would just come and have a peep to see if the meatballs needed a little extra water. By lunch time they were done….The result…..soft marrow-like meatballs with the most divine rendered-down gravy you can imagine. That my dear friends was what I was looking for.


…and then I received this recipe!

meatball

The cooking instructions were simple – braise with onion long and slowly! I knew it, I had a winner. I had Griet’s winner! The lucky lady who made my tastebuds jump with joy, is Doreen van der Berg, of Gugulethu! Well done Doreen, your meatballs made me miss my childhood and Griet!

meatball

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8 Responses to “The winner of Meatball Challenge and a recipe that made me jump with joy!”

  1. Sheena Mathew 21 December 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Congratulations Doreen, I too have always wanted a very good meatball recipe and at last I have one now. Go spoil yourself with your prize money! Well Done!

  2. pierre 22 December 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    doreen geluk met jou tasty krismisbok x. heppy days!

    Nina, ek het toevallig hierdie week gelees dat caramalised uie waneer die mengsel gemaak word die geheim vir uitsonderlikke smaak is.

    Die Italianers sit parmesan enoriganum by en kook dit stadig vir 3 ure. Die resultaat is baie lekk, maar niks beat hierdie boere resep nie!

  3. Cindy 23 December 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Thanks Doreen! My kids love meatballs and always ask me to make them…and I never do, because mine are sooooo dry! I’m looking forward to following your recipe and method!

  4. Trixi 29 May 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Net gisteraand die aardigste goed gemaak wat veronderstel was om ‘n meatball te wees:( en kom soek toe vanoggend by jou ‘n resep, want ek is so lus vir ‘n lekker meatball, maar myne is aaklig! Enigste probleem is dat ek nou nie al Griet se tyd het wanneer ek in die aand al die honger magies moet voer nie. Sal dit nietemin probeer.

  5. Taryn 30 September 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Thank You Doreen!! I am going to try this recipe out tonight!! Sounds absolutely delicious..

  6. Herbert Meyer 21 January 2014 at 11:47 am #

    At the risk of sounding totally stupid here, (I am new to cooking), do I just mix together all the ingredients on that piece of paper, caramelize an onion in a pan, add the meatballs, cover them with water and let them braise till all the water is reduced?

  7. Zandile 4 December 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    this recipe is not complete, where is the instruction how to cook the meatballs


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