Meatball and Onion Casserole

Meatball and Onion Casserole, flavoured with lemon juice, Madeira and dill, makes the ideal family meal, served with mashed potatoes and peas. Alternatively, for a more formal meal, stir

4 fluid ounces of double cream into the sauce just before serving. If you cannot obtain fresh dill, substitute

1 teaspoon of dried dill.

1 egg, well beaten with

3 tablespoons milk

2 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs

2 lb. lean veal, finely minced

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon flour

½ teaspoon celery salt -1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 oz. butter

2 large onions, thinly sliced and pushed out into rings

10 fl. oz. chicken stock

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Madeira (optional)

1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in 1 tablespoon chicken stock

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg and milk mixture, the breadcrumbs, veal, dill, flour, celery salt, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix and knead the mixture well.

With lightly floured hands, shape the mixture into about 20 balls approximately l|-inches in diameter. Set aside.

In a medium-sized flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

With a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the casserole and set them aside.

Add the meatballs to the casserole, a few at a time, and fry them, turning with a slotted spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are well browned.

With the slotted spoon, remove the meatballs from the casserole and set them aside while you brown the remaining meatballs in the same way.

When all the meatballs have been browned, stir the chicken stock, lemon juice, Madeira (if you are using it) and the cornflour mixture into the casserole. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any sediments.

When the sauce has thickened slightly, return the onions and meatballs to the casserole. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the meatballs are completely cooked.

Remove the casserole from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the meatballs from the casserole and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the dish and serve immediately.

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