A French dish made simple and totally on plan for those following the Slimming World plan. This was one of those fluke recipes I often talk about and so glad it worked.
It’s not often you will find me eating something that has a creamy sauce, BUT I have to admit even fussy pants me really enjoyed this one.
You can double the bechamel sauce ingredients and just use that in this recipe but after experimenting and using both a bechamel and a tomato sauce I personally found it gave this more flavour but experiment and see which you prefer.
Just a quick note I use full fat butter in this sauce as it makes a much nicer sauce and it is still relatively low in syns. If you wish to use low fat butter you will need to syn accordingly and play around with the quantities of ingredients as they will give a different outcome. Same with milk, we use whole milk but if you use any other kind of milk you may need to adjust the quantities used.
Some recommended items from our kitchen for making this dish…
- Non-stick milk pan as I love having the lip to make it easier to pour without spillage.
- Silicone whisks in varying sizes, much prefer silicone to metal as it rusts.
- A decent set of knives for chopping, with a knife sharpener which is always handy.
- Double sided dry and liquid measuring spoons for times when you need to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.
- Garlic crusher, we have had this one for a good while, easy to clean and can crush multiple cloves at once saving time.
- A mandolin slicer, used on the thickest setting.
- Cheese grater with varying grater sizes.
Now just a quick note about the seasoning we use in this dish, we have found these seasonings from http://www.soeasyseasonings.co.uk which have all the spices you need already all included in one spice so that we only need to add a few teaspoons without rummaging the spice cupboard for lots of different ones. Their seasonings are syn free, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo friendly and all natural ingredients, no sugar, preservatives, additives or MSG, and a little goes a long way.
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Meatball Gratin Parmentier
Serves 4 – 1 HexA and 3.5 syns per person
- 250g 5% fat pork mince
- 250g 5% fat beef steak mince
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons So Easy Seasonings Mediterranean blend
- 1 beef oxo cube
- 1 small egg, beaten
- 250g passata
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon So Easy Seasonings Mediterranean blend
Cheesy bechamel sauce:
- 25g butter – 9 syns
- 25g plain flour – 4.5 syns
- 200ml whole milk – 1 HexA or 6 syns
- 40g light mature cheddar – 1 HexA or 6 syns
- Salt & pepper
- 3 large potatoes
- 80g light mature cheddar – 3 HexA or 12 syns
- Preheat oven 180°C fan.
- Boil the potatoes whole in lightly salted water until semi-soft, leave to cool.
- Meanwhile make your bechamel sauce, warm the milk in the microwave until hot, in a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, add in the flour to make a roux and keep stirring until smooth, whisk in the milk gradually until you get a thick sauce (you may not need all the milk for now so leave any aside if it gets too runny). Stir in the cheese and bring to a steady simmer and simmer on a low heat for a few minutes continuously stirring, season with salt and pepper, taste and add extra if needed. Set aside.
- Make the tomato sauce, add the onion and garlic to a pan and saute for a few minutes until soft, add all other ingredients to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until thickened. Set aside.
- In a bowl add all the meatball ingredients, apart from the egg and mix everything together with your hands. Gradually add in the egg, just enough to bind it all together and make as many even sized meatballs as you can, roughly a mash potato scoop size. Fry for a few minutes in a pan just to brown the outside and seal the meatballs. Take off the heat.
- Now to start assembling the dish.
- Evenly slice the potatoes and line the bottom and sides of an oven proof dish, reserving some of the potato for later.
- Arrange the meatballs on top of the potato, place the remaining potato slices between the meatballs.
- Pour the tomato sauce evenly over each meatball then repeat with the bechamel sauce (whisk in a little more of the milk if any was left over if the sauce is too thick).
- Scatter over the cheese and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked, potato fully cooked and the cheese melted and golden.
- Serve with a simple salad or some steamed vegetables.