A birthday meatfest (with apologies to vegetarians)

I hope these photos will meet with your expectations after my sizzling steak video teaser! :)

We celebrated Jac’s brother B’s birthday with a barbecue dinner on Sunday. Our contribution to the meal was a batch of Chinese meatballs. Well – Jac did all the work, really. All I did was read her the list of ingredients over the phone while she was at the shops.

The meatballs recipe came from this lovely old book we found at a Save the Children book sale – The Fine Art of Chinese Cooking by Dr Lee Su Jan, edited by June Taylor, published by Gramercy Publishing Company, New York. There’s no publication year supplied, but the author’s acknowledgements are dated Summer, 1961.

Jac used dried shitake mushrooms, which she rehydrated in some water before chopping them up. She didn’t mince the water chestnuts too finely so that they’d have a definite presence and provide a lovely crunch in the meatballs. We didn’t use MSG.

There are 36 meatballs in this photo. I ate a broken one, so all up, the recipe made 37 meatballs. I’m telling you this because I know some of you will want to know! ;)

All the meatballs

They smelled extremely good at this distance. But I was good and didn’t sneak any.

Chinese pork meatballs

We packed the meatballs up in our Zen Tupperware, with tomato sauce and sweet chilli sauce for dipping. Here are the meatballs in their container on our dining table.

Chinese pork meatballs with tomato sauce and sweet chilli sauce - in our kitchen

And here they are a short while later, surrounded by hungry people waiting politely while I took another photo. I was quick, I promise! The meatballs were a hit. They are really tasty – I highly recommend them as moreish finger food.

Chinese pork meatballs with tomato sauce and sweet chilli sauce  served up

We also enjoyed sausage rolls, homemade by B’s partner K’s mum J. Obviously, more tomato sauce was in order! You know, I could’ve just eaten the meatballs and sausage rolls, called that dinner and been perfectly happy. But of course, there were more delicious things to come!

Homemade sausage rolls

If meatballs and sausage rolls haven’t been meaty enough for you, here are more seriously meaty images.

Vegetarians, look away NOW!

Here are the juicy raw steaks…

Steaks, unseasoned

…and here they are, sprinkled with garlic salt and all-seasoning, ready to be placed on the hot barbecue.

Seasoned meat ready for barbecuing


Sizzling steak

Still sizzling… (watch the video again, if you’d like to hear the sizzle!)

Steaks on the barbie

To go with the steaks, we had K’s delicious ovenbaked potatoes…

Ovenbaked potatoes

…and salad, with spinach, lettuce, sliced pears and walnuts.


K had made two kinds of butter to go with the steaks – blue cheese butter and garlic butter. Jac chose blue cheese and I chose garlic – we are so predictable, aren’t we? K placed a generous dob of garlic butter on top of my steak. I was faced with a tantalising choice – just sit back and enjoy watching the butter melt, or grab my knife, spread it all over the steak and just dig in.

Garlic butter on steak

Here’s my plate. I dug in. I’m not a big fan of red meat usually, but that steak was Oh. My. God. B had cooked it to a perfect medium and it was beautifully tender. The garlic butter was rich and delicious. Jac loved the blue cheese butter and her steak too. The steaks and butters went down a treat.

My plate

Goodness, gracious, great balls of… cream!

We didn’t have a birthday cake for B, but Pattycakes (Jac and Brad’s mum) had made a special dessert, of vanilla sponge soaked in rum, topped with chocolate sauce and big balls of cream. The sponge had been soaking in rum for five days, but the booze flavour was surprisingly subtle and very pleasant. Well, I thought it was nice because I don’t care for overly boozy desserts. I think the others would’ve liked it mega-boozy!

Sponge soaked in rum, with chocolate sauce topped with balls of cream

To go with the sponge and cream dessert, we also had a platter of fresh fruit – rockmelon, watermelon, strawberries, plums, grapes and apricots. A good way to end a great meal.

Fruit - rockmelon, watermelon, strawberries, plums, grapes and apricots

Facebook comments


, , , , , ,  Like

Share this post