It’s hard to believe that I was ever a fussy eater as a kid. There’s lots of foods I wouldn’t touch, but mushrooms were my arch-nemesis. I would pick even the most microscopic pieces off a slice of pizza. However, these days I can’t get enough of this nutritional powerhouse ingredient in all forms.
We all know that mince is a great versatile ingredient that is easy on the wallet and can create so many delicious dishes. The Blend™ method is a great way to get more nutritious mushrooms into your meals with mince! Just substitute some of the mince for finely diced mushrooms in your favourite recipes like tacos, bolognese, chilli con carne, burgers or in this case, meatballs!
It’s such a simple swap and awesome if you’re looking to reduce your meat intake without giving it up completely. Adding mushrooms can help stretch the portion sizes so you get more bang for your buck. Plus mushrooms add natural umami flavour to enhance your dish and can reduce the fat, salt and calories too. It’s also a great sneaky way to incorporate vegetables into meals for fussy kids. That’s a win all around!
Following the guidance on The Blend™ website, I used a mix of 25% finely diced mushrooms and 75% grass fed beef mince for my meatballs and I thought this was the perfect ratio. The meatballs were easy to roll and held together well while cooking.
There are 3 key things in creating the perfect meatball:
1. Pick the right mince. Any kind of meat can be used for meatballs, but using a mince with very low fat – like extra lean beef, chicken or turkey – and the meatballs can become dry. But on the other hand, using a lower quality mince with too much fat can mean they are swimming with oil as they cook. A happy medium is a mince that is between 10-20% fat.
2. Make sure you season your mince mixture well! There’s nothing worse than bland, under-seasoned meatballs! I like to add in or fresh herbs, mustard (any kind will do!) and Worcestershire sauce as well as salt and pepper of course for max flavour.
3. Wet your hands before mixing and rolling the meatballs. I definitely advocate for getting your hands dirty in this recipe. It’s a messy process but using your hands helps the mixture bind together better. Having wet hands keeps the mince mixture from sticking as you roll them.
Once they were rolled, I browned the mushroom meatballs in a pan until mostly cooked through. Then I added passata sauce, some garlic and basil for extra flavour. I served the saucy mushroom meatballs on long crusty rolls with fresh rocket and a very generous amount of grated parmesan cheese. The mushrooms give the meatballs a really nice taste and texture and I think this dish makes for an amazing weekend lunch!
Check out the video for how to make these Mushroom Meatball Subs and also the competition running for a few more days.
This post is sponsored by Distil Agency. Recipe and opinions are all my own.
Related Post: Pork Meatball Salad Bowls
Mushroom Meatball Subs
These Mushroom Meatball Subs have finely diced mushrooms blended into the meatballs giving them extra umami flavour and nutritional value.
- 360 g grass fed beef mince
- 120 g button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 jar (700g) tomato passata sauce
- Fresh basil, finely sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 4-6 long bread rolls
- Fresh rocket
- Grated parmesan
To make the mushroom meatballs, finely dice the mushrooms until the texture is similar to the mince. Place the mince and mushrooms together into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, Italian herbs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and parmesan and mix with wet hands until thoroughly combined.
Take tablespoons of the mushroom mince mixture and roll between wet hands to form meatballs. Repeat until all the mince has been used.
Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning often until they have started to brown and are partially cooked through. Add the garlic and the tomato passata and stir to coat the meatballs. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly. Add the fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, slice rolls lengthwise with a serrated knife. Add some fresh rocket and top generously with meatballs – as many as you can fit! Grate over some parmesan cheese. Optionally, you could pop it under the grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese.