Larue’s Classic Meatballs
|Larue's Classic Meatballs|
This is not your mother’s spaghetti and meatballs. Instead this is a MEAT meatball, an entrée on its own, a knife and fork meatball. It is loaded with flavor – sautéed and then braised for added flavor. The key to making these meatballs is to brown them first in a skillet and then braise them in a sauce of red wine and tomatoes. Do not let the list of ingredients turn you off on these. They are simply the most wonderful classic meatballs, which can be served alone with crusty bread to sop up the wonderful thick sauce or make meatball sliders for your family or guests!
- 10 oz ground beef chuck or veal
- 10 oz ground pork shoulder
- 2 oz minced pork fat or bacon
- 2 oz prosciutto
- 1¼ C loosely packed Italian parsley, minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 7 slices white bread, finely ground in a food processor
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 C whole milk ricotta, drained in strainer
- 2 Tb milk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ C red wine
- 4 C canned tomato puree
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 C beef or veal stock or water
- Grated Parmesan cheese & parsley for garnish
In a large bowl, combine 10 oz ground beef chuck, 10 oz ground pork shoulder, 2 oz bacon or pork fat, 2 oz chopped prosciutto, 1¼ C minced parsley, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1½ tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp crushed chili flakes, ½ tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp ground allspice, and freshly ground 7 slices of white bread and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Using your fingers (FUN!), mix ingredients until combined; set aside.
|Mixed meat and spices|
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2/3 C whole milk ricotta, 2 Tb milk, and 3 lightly beaten eggs. Add this to meat mixture and gently mix just until it is incorporated. Put all into refrigerator and chill for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 300 degree F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with a little olive oil. Using a 2 oz ice cream scoop, portion mixture, roll into meatballs with your hands, and transfer to greased baking sheet. Heat 3 Tb olive oil in a 3 qt high sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs – do not crowd or they will steam instead of brown – cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate; wipe out the skillet. Repeat with remaining 3 Tb olive oil and meatballs.
|2 oz meatballs--pre-cooking|
|Sauteed to a wonderful brown|
Return reserved meatballs from plate to skillet along with any juices from the plate. Add ½ C dry red wine; increase heat to high and cook for 2 minutes to boil off alcohol. Stir in 4 C canned tomato puree, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 C beef or veal stock, bring to a boil, and tightly cover skillet. Transfer to oven; bake until meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the sauce, about 1½ hours.
To serve, transfer meatballs to a platter, spoon over sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Serve with bread on the side or as a slider. Sit back and enjoy the food and the compliments. You will be amazed at how moist and tasty these meatballs are. They are outstanding. Serve with a fruity Zinfandel, a robust Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot or your favorite GSM! So many choices...it just has to be great!