I'm as guilty as the next person of buying groceries and promptly forgetting about it, going off to meet friends, work late, neglect dinner. It always makes me feel really guilty; so guilty in fact that I find myself boiling eggs at 1am, half drunk, so they don't go off and I can make the most of them. Waste is a bad thing, and I hope I never change in this respect. I don't want to be one of those people who can wantonly throw away food without a thought behind it. Long may the guilt live.
This recipe was borne out of that very feeling. I watched flat peaches slowly wrinkle, the skin toughening, the fruit ripening. I just kept forgetting about them until it wasn't possible to ignore any longer. I could bake a cake with them, or make them into compote maybe. That would then sit in the fridge and grow fur.
Or I could make Korean-style meatballs! A much better idea. These are a perfect starter for a few people, or you could have them over rice. I actually preferred them wrapped in lettuce leaves, like a riff on bo ssam, that pork dish served wrapped in leaves, with condiments. A bit of fresh lettuce crunch is perfect with the sweet spiciness of this sauce.
Korean Style Glazed Meatballs
300gr minced beef with a bit of fat
A handful of panko breadcrumbs, soaked in a splash of milk
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
A hefty pinch of salt
2 small flat peaches, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tbsp gochujang
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water
A handful of chives, snipped
Lettuce leaves - round, Iceberg or Romaine, washed and cut into palm-sized pieces
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the peach in a small saucepan with a lid and cook on a very low heat until the fruit has softened and released its' liquid. Add a splash of water if it is catching.
Meanwhile, drain the breadcrumbs and add to the beef with the garlic, ginger, sesame oil and salt. Mix lightly with your hands, and roll into golf-ball-sized balls. Place on a oiled sheet of greaseproof paper and place them in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
Once the peach has softened into a mush, add the tbsp of water, gochujang, vinegar and soy sauce. Blitz with a handheld blender, and return to a low heat to simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Keep warm.
Fan out the lettuce leaves on a plate. Dip each meatball in the sauce and roll it around so it is covered, then place on a lettuce leaf. Repeat, and then scatter with snipped chives, and serve.