birds nests with pink potato puree

prepared by Thila, feb 2012 @ the beach house france

This is a great recipe for kids, to both create and eat, as it has lots of ingredients they love!



4 eggs

225g minced beef

225g minced pork

1 shallot finely chopped

a pinch of grated nutmeg and a pinch of dried thyme

3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 egg beaten

egg white and fresh white breadcrumbs for coating

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil

chopped fresh parsley for garnish

For the tomato sauce;

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil

2-3 shallots or 1 onion chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp sherry

1 bay leaf

1 tsp paprika

salt and ground black pepper

For the potato puree;

500g potatoes peeled

500 ml milk

3 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp tomato puree

pinch of grated nutmeg



Put the eggs in a pan with water to cover.  Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain and cool in iced water.

As soon as the eggs are cold, remove them from the water and set them aside until needed.

Put the mince beef and pork in a large bowl.  Add the chopped shallot, nutmeg, thyme, parsley and egg,  Mix thoroughly with clean hands until it holds together.

Divide the meat mixture into four equal portions and knead each one around a hard boiled egg to make an even coating approx 2cm thick.

Put the egg white and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls.  Dip each covered egg in egg white, then roll in breadcrumbs until the outside is evenly and well coated.

Melt the butter in the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the covered eggs and brown on all sides.  Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the sauce.  In a pan, melt the butter in the oil.  Add the chopped shallots or onion and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute gently for 3 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes and the tomato puree.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the sherry or Madeira and the bay leaf.  Season and add the paprika.  Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile make the potato puree.  Put the potatoes in a pan with lightly salted water to cover.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 25 minutes, until tender.  Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan and place over the heat to dry.  Mash with the milk, butter, tomato puree and nutmeg.

Pile the potato puree in the centre of warm plates.  Surround with most of the sauce.  Cut the meatballs in half and arrange two on the sauce on each of the plates.  Spoon the remaining sauce over.  Garnish with the parsley and serve.


adapted from a recipe in Dutch & Belgian Food and Cooking (9780754820550): Janny de Moor, Suzanne Vandyck: Books.

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