Hello, hello Tribe. This recipe has been a long time coming. I wanted to write it before easter when a big batch of yajichurri was supposed to head to lagos and disaster struck, i mean everything that could go wrong went wrong, from two new food processors going bad within a day from each other to someone who i was relying on to bring my restock of ingredients to make that big batch not letting me know that she didn’t bring them. I learnt a big lesson though, never leave the actualisation of your plans to someone else, because a lot of people really don’t care, even if they tell you to your face that they do, they can be careless with your baby. Just as a mother won’t leave/entrust just anyone with their child, don’t entrust just anyone with the workings of your plans. It was truly a shock to my system, but i learnt from it.
Talking about yajichurri when you have tens of people who hadn’t received theirs, would have been like a slap in their face. So, i waited and thankfully, the majority of people who ordered weeks ago have gotten their jars now, save for a select few in my location that the M25 decided will not get, but i will rectify that. I am happy to be sharing this recipe today, because on Instagram today, I will be sharing Tales of Yajichurri. I coined a term for the feedback i have gotten from lots of people all over the world. My small unassuming jar of love, hard work, dedication and passion has been all over the world, like seriously, it has touched down in every continent, including Australia. I am holding out for it arriving in the Caribbean very soon by His Grace and I can complete my around the world Yajichurri map.
Now, back to this recipe using Yajichurri. My goodness, can I say best meatballs ever, like oh my goodness, it was really really good. My Portuguese friend came for dinner, and I made a little takeaway bowl for her children. Days later, I asked how if they enjoyed it, because it was quite spicy and she said hmmmmn, Dunni, would you believe that I told my 9 year old to have just a little taste, because i thought it would be too spicy, and the older children would be the only ones able to eat it. She was like Dunni, when I got back and saw an empty bowl in the kitchen, I was like whoooooaaaaa, what happened to the rest, her son told her he finished everything. She was like, but i brought it for your brothers and not you, because it is spicy, he said yes it was spicy, but it was delicious and he finished everything. She looked at him in shock. That’s Yajichurri for you. A friend of mine who got the other half of the leftovers also asked me days later “did you put that your sauce inside the dish”, i said yes, why. She said aaaah, I can see why your people are crazy for the sauce, the dish was really really nice. So, if you are in possession of a jar of Yajichurri as you read this, go get some minced meat, because things are about to get very serious.
If you are jealously reading this post and you still haven’t ordered Yajichurri, please send me a DM on Instagram (@dooneyskitchen) or email: [email protected] Let’s Cook.
- Minced Meat
- 1 Egg
- or just buy already formed meatballs from the supermarket
- Salt - optional
- Vegetable oil
- Ata lilo - bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper)
- Efinrin - substitute with Basil
- If you are starting from scratch using mincemeat, add breadcrmbs, break in one egg, add at least two tablespoons of yajichurri. Combine and use your hands to shape them into golf sized balls. may bigger, and they may not cook through.
- If like me, you are starting with pre-made meatballs from the supermarket, just break the meatballs down and mix in yajichurri
- Reform the balls. I used a meatball former, a nifty little cheap device that ensures that all your meatballs come out the same size, allowing them to cook evenly.
- Add a little oil to a non stick pan or cast iron pan and let it get hot. Sear the meatballs for about 15 - 30 seconds on each side, allowing them to brown, but not cook through
- if you let them cook for too long at the beginning, you will end up with dry meatballs which taste really gross.
- By now, you should have blended the ingredients for ata lilo. Blend with as little water as possible, so you don't spend forever getting the sauce to thicken. Alternatively, pass it through a sieve to save you time.
- Take the meatballs out of the pan, and add chopped onions to season the oil some more. Add the fresh ata lilo mix and another tablespoon of Yajichurri and some salt, if you wish or add a little beef stock
- Allow the pepper mix to fry until it it thickens with a little sheen of oil on top, and then re-introduce the meatballs back to the pan stir gently, lower the heat to allow the meatballs absorb the flavours in the pepper and to also cook through.
- Stir by shaking the pan gently, taste and re-season if necessary. If you do it right and follow the recipe, your yajichurri meatballs sauce will fill the house with an amazing aroma and it should look like this
- I served this with Linguine, but you can use spaghetti or any kind of pasta. Simply boil with a little salt, and drain it, but don't drain all the hot water away because you need it to make the pasta not clump together, and a little liquid helps in the quick absorption of the sauce. Once slightly drained, add it to the pan containing the sauce. If it isn't wide enough, simply get out another pan, add the pasta to it, and pour over the sauce. Using big salad spoons, incorporate the sauce with the spaghetti on very low heat, and voila, dinner is served