Here at Chez Me, I do a majority of the cooking, but Mrs. Me has several specialties. A non-exhaustive list of highlights includes brisket (braised, not smoked), a recently mastered potato-leek soup, popovers. She is in charge of most of the baking, at which she excels (like father, like daughter).
And Römertopf meatballs. The Römertopf (“Roman pot”) is a German brand of clay pot, one of which Mrs. Me has owned for many moons. First you have to soak it in water for a while. Then you load it up with whatever you’re making, slap in in the oven for a while, and coming soon dinner.
I shouldn’t make fun of clay pot cooking, it’s been a thing for ages (literally — pre-Iron Age) and results are often delicious. I think it is the cookbook we use, Clay Cookery, that makes me want to be listening to Hooked on a Feeling and guzzling Reunite, or maybe something from a box, while I’m whipping up my afternoon clay pot delight. I was shocked to discover the book was published in 1990. Its dated style and overexposed photography suggest early 70s. Millennials may think there is no difference between the early 70s and 1990, but I assure you, the times in between, they were a-changin’.
Back to the meatballs. They’re a mixture of ground beef and rice, doused in V-8 juice, topped with garlic, onions, and green peppers.* That’s about it, but the trick is to use enough V-8 to keep it all moist but not so much that it turns into meatball soup. Mrs. Me has mastered the V-8 apportioning.
* Normally green peppers are on the nasty/banned list, but once in a while they are crucial to the overall flavor of a dish, as in this case.
Last week’s batch was excellent as always, the rice fully cooked, interspersed throughout each moist tomatoey meatball. Before and after shots are below.