Sunday, 16 August 2015

Turkey cannonballs

It's been a while since I took part in a culinary challenge, and though with school holidays, I am hard pressed, I just couldn't resist creating a recipe for #TurkeyTractorChallenge competition run by British Turkey and Red Tractor.
Bloggers have been invited to create a delicious recipe using quality British turkey and a minimum of two non-meat Red Tractor approved ingredients. The theme for the challenge was a surprise - Pirates.
When you have younger children, anything pirate-themed is always met with Hurrah.

The recipe I am entering into the competition is called Turkey cannonballs, which is just turkey meatballs in "pirate-speak".
Turkey cannonballs
500g 2% fat British turkey breast mince
2 slices of bread (I used Warburton's medium sliced bread) - 45g
50ml semi-skimmed milk
1 clove of garlic
zest of 1 lemon
a good pinch of paprika
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 egg yolk
sea salt
50 g dried apricots (optional)
3+tbsp olive oil
150ml vegetable stock
a handful of baby tomatoes
Toast two bread slices for a minute and a half. Take out the toast, break into smaller pieces and soak in milk for a few minutes. Then squeeze the milk out of the bread mix. Add the wet bread to a deep bowl, where you have put the turkey mince. Season well with the sea salt, add the spices, pressed garlic and lemon zest, fresh thyme (dried would be fine too), egg yolk and chopped dried apricots. Mix well, using hands.
Place a bowl with cold water next to the bowl with the mince. Dip your hands in cold water before forming each meatball.
Fry the meatballs for about 4 minutes in a grill pan, turning them, until slightly browned on all sides. Then put the meatballs in a big sized ceramic dish or tray, scatter the tomatoes between them and pour the oil from the frying pan. You might add another tablespoon of oil.
Pour the stock around the meatballs and cook in the oven preheated to 180C for about 15 minutes.

Meatballs in the grill pan; + just before the tray is put in the oven
You can substitute bread for a grated raw potato. In fact, that's what my Mum usually does.

These are very tasty meatballs. Both of my guys are not keen on the red meat, but they will eat chicken or turkey. The meatballs are lovely with mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.

To go with the pirate theme, I have made a cannon from a cooked whole parsnip and apple slices. Eddie was much amused by my creative effort. But he judged the cannonballs to be tasty. We had a talk about what the pirates like to eat, and he thought they would approve of our turkey meatballs.
Yo Ho Ho, and a bottle of rum (or a glass of iced tea in our case)!


  1. Love the canon, the perfect meal for a busy pirate!

    1. Thank you Alison! It was fun to make it. I tried to bake a chest from puff pastry too, but it fell apart in the oven, lol

  2. These look delicious and you have such a cute pirate ! :)