S says I've changed. A new version of me was born on the 28th, the day that we moved in to our new home. For no known reason, I’ve suddenly become an adult who cares about having the perfect house that is tidy and sparkling clean.
However, please don’t think the previous me was a messy untidy person, there is nothing that I dislike more than a dirty and messy place ! But when S and I used to live in our old flat, I was lucky enough (and proud!) to say my partner was the one who did all the household chores whilst I was the responsible one who cooked every day.
To this day I’m not sure now I managed to always find an excuse to be busy on cleaning day and even though, S didn’t mind carrying on without me, I have to say sometimes I did feel just a little bit guilty... for at least 1-2 minutes.
However, luckily for S and to my surprise, my Saturdays morning of staying in bed until midday drinking coffee and flipping through magazines, seem to be a thing of the past. Since we moved in to our new home, I have a strong urge to mop my beautiful dark wood floor, rearrange the cushions, clean and polish all the taps, and, if this wasn’t enough, I have even developed a super spider-man (or Spidy-women) sense when something is every so slightly out of place and to put it back as it should be.
Okay I am actually being serious now, this super-sense alerts me when even the hall rug is not perfectly inline with the gaps between the floorboards, or there is a near invisible bit of cat hair drifting across another room in the house as if it were some western movie scene. Even S, who by the way is Mr-OCD, is not sure if he prefers the messy Lau from before or the new super-clean version who tells him off every time he leaves the shoes in the hallway.
However, there are still things that will never change with me, and one of these is... shall call it, my peculiar style of cooking. Although I might have become a tidy person around the house, in the kitchen I am still the super tsunami I was before ! I just cannot help but use a hundred plates, bowls and several knives and other kitchenware utensils when making something so simple as toast !
So, hopeful now you will have a hint of how messy these meatballs pizzas had been to create if you are me. Luckily enough, all the mess caused was totally worth it, and S was in one of his ‘clean everything at all cost’ moods on the day in question.
There just simply isn’t a better comfort food than these smoky meatballs and bacon pizzas. Everything in this recipe is made from scratch and there’s a bonus that they are totally gluten free as well !!!
For the pizza base I followed Jenni Hulet’s recipe from her cookbook; My Paleo Patisserie. I’d tried this recipe once before, when I made the Spanish tapas sandwiches, and once again the result was spectacular.
The recipe for the gluten free meatballs is already a classic on my blog. For me there was no need to follow any instructions as I’ve made these meatballs so many times at home before...! and for these pizzas I didn’t want to altered the recipe at all, as I wanted to make sure they kept their smoky taste.
I high recommend you give these a try either with my preferred smokey meatballs and bacon pizzas or simple baked meatballs instead. Once you taste how good they are, you will forget all mess left over!
Happy cooking - Lau
Gluten free meatballs bacon pizzas
Makes 6-8 pizzas
FOR THE PIZZAS BASES
1 cup / 120 gr. tapioca flour
2 tbsp. coconut flour
1 tsp. garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 pinch of salt
1/3 (65 gr.) Trex butter (In the UK), palm shortening (US)
1 cup (120 ml.) full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup (60 ml.) water
4 large eggs, room temperature
FOR THE MEATBALLS
5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tsp chipotle chilli paste or chipotle-flavoured Tabasco sauce
1 tsp light muscovado sugar
2 large fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
125 ml beef stock
200 g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
800 g ground beef
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, plus extra to serve
1 medium free-range egg, beaten
200 gr. lactose free cheese, finely sliced
8 rashes (250g) of bacon, diced
Fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Grease and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mark your pizzas bases by drawing 8 rounds of 10 cm in diameter on the parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the tapioca flour, coconut flour, oregano, garlic and salt. Then, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, coconut milk and water.
Once the butter has melted, continue to heat the mixture until a few bubbles break the surface, but don’t let it boil.
Remove from the heat then pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir immediately, stirring slowly at first to incorporate the flour, then vigorously until the mixture forms a soft blob of dough.
Transfer the dough to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir on low speed for about a minute to cool it down. Meanwhile, beat one of the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
Turn the mixer up to medium speed and add one egg at a time to the dough, beating each egg before adding it. Allow each egg to be completely combined before adding the next, as the dough will break or separate with each addition.
After adding the first three eggs, increase the mixer speed and beat for about a minute or until it is smooth. Add move beaten egg a little at a time until the dough is creamy looking.
Stir two tablespoon of the mixture per pizza base then spread them out into a 10 cm round.
Bake for 15 minutes, then let them cool.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add the onions, garlic and oregano, cover and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.
Turn off the heat, scoop half the mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
Return the frying pan to a medium heat, add the tomato purée, then stir well. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli paste or Tabasco, sugar, thyme leaves, beef stock and season with salt and pepper. Then bring to a gentle simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Add the bacon to the cooled onions with the ground beef, almond flour, fresh oregano, egg, ½ tsp salt and some black pepper. Mix using your hands, then roll into balls about the size of a golf ball.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in another large frying pan and fry the meatballs in 2 batches until brown all over.
Spread 1- tablespoons of tomato sauce over the the pizzas bases, then arrange with slices of cheese and 2-3 meatballs. Scatter over with bacon and top with some fresh basil leaves.
Return the baking sheets to the oven, turning the heat down to 175 C / 350 F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes further until pizzas are crisp and golden and meatballs cooked through.