In his meatball cookbook, Jez Felwick brings a delicious combination of flavors from the street to your home, all made with free-range meat and quality ingredients, bursting with flavor and served with fresh-tasting sauces and sides. The Meatball Cookbook: Great Balls of Fire (Mitchell Beazley, 2013) is Felwick’s collection culminated from his experience as “The Bowler,” a well-known gourmet food cart vendor in London. He gives more than 70 “ballistic” ideas, including original sauces, sides and salads, plus the following excerpt, a recipe for a meatball calzone appetizer.
You can buy this book from the GRIT store: The Meatball Cookbook: Great Balls of Fire.
In their own words, “Homeslice is the love child of three men with a passion for making and eating wood-fired pizza.” I met this Kiwi threesome early on in Bowler life. Hugging their homemade wood-fired-oven-cum-trailer is a great way to keep warm on a cold evening. Their pizzas are stunning—light with a crisp base—and I’m thrilled they’ve shared a little doughy delight here.
Preparation time 25 minutes, plus resting. Cooking time 15 minutes.
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons baker’s active dried yeast
5 cups bread flour
1 heaped tablespoon sea salt (Maldon sea salt recommended)
1/2 cup butter, melted
6–7 cooked Bowler meatballs and sauce of your choice
freshly grated mozzarella cheese
Put the water into a bowl and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved, then add the yeast and cover the bowl. Leave in a warm place for 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.
Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter and the yeast mixture. Once it comes together as dough, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead well for 10–15 minutes (don’t slack!), adding more flour as needed. The dough shouldn’t stick to your hands but should cling to itself—the more you mix it the wetter it will feel. Once kneaded, place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes or so, until it has almost doubled in size.
Divide the risen dough into 6 or 7 portions and roll each into a tight ball. Place the balls on a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a cool place for an hour. It will now be ready to roll out, but your window for use is getting small. If you are making your dough earlier in the day you can keep the balls in the fridge, but bring them out about 20–30 minutes before use.
Heat the oven to 425ºF. Flour your board and, if you’re a hands-on person, you can stretch and roll the dough into a circle using your hands; however, using a rolling pin is a viable option. Roll the dough as thinly as you can without splitting it, making circles 6–8 inches across and 1/4 inch deep.
Place a meatball on one half of your dough circle, adding the sauce of your choice. Scatter with some grated mozzarella and sliced scallions. To seal the calzone, take a brush or your finger and spread sauce thinly around the edge of the dough circle. Fold the empty half of the circle over the filling, press together, and pinch the edges firmly together. The better the seal here the more it will puff and look delicious.
Place the calzones on a baking pan. Bake for 5–10 minutes, or until starting to color. Don’t leave them too long or you’ll end up with dry calzone. Serve straight from the oven. They’re best served as an appetizer.
Reprinted with permission from The Meatball Cookbook: Great Balls of Fire by Jez Felwick and published by Mitchell Beazley, 2013. Buy this book from our store: The Meatball Cookbook: Great Balls of Fire.
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