Golden Poppies our State Wildflower

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ultimate Meatballs in a glorious Tomato-Mushroom Sauce ...RECIPE

Really to call these cushions of meat and wine sauteed onions, meatballs, is an injustice, but if you rave about these & people think you are crazy.. just one bite will prove your case.

To feed 4 lucky folks you will need:

3 cups fresh white breadcrumbs (processed sliced white bread)
scant 1 cup fresh milk (nut milk is fine)

Soak together for 30 mins.
2 cups finely diced onions (dice then rinse in cold water to remove sulphur strong flavors)
3 cloves garlic smashed & minced
1 cup dry white wine

cook together, tightly lidded until the onions are cooked..then cool down completely, OK if wine evaporates.

1 cup minced parsley
4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) very lean, ground beef OR

4 cups  ( 1 1/2 pounds) ground dark meat, turkey OR

50 : 50 ( either) ground meat with ground pork or ground veal
1 tbsp smoked paprika (optional)
sea salt & crushed black pepper to taste

Using a table knife, not a spoon, fold the soaked breadcrumbs into the ground meat,minced parsley, paprika and cooked, cold onion-garlic mix ..(Using a metal knife ensures the meat mix is light and not compacted).
Add salt and pepper ( 1/2 tsp each)
Shape the mix into 14 balls with hands
(they can be stored, wrapped in waxed paper and sealed in plastic wrap for use later on..or even frozen, packed like this and additionally wrapped in foil).


To make the sauce:

1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp olive oil
3cups sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 cup peeled chopped whole tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp fresh basil( torn) or rosemary ( minced)
salt & pepper to taste


Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan and and saute the mushrooms, for 4 mins.
Add the garlic and cook for 2 mins.
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins
Add the stock and the wine and cook for 5 mins, stirring well.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and cinnamon and cook on low simmer for 35 mins
remove from heat and add the chopped fresh herbs , and taste for seasonings.

To assemble the whole:

In a large heavy bottomed skillet heat 6 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter, add the meatballs in batches, adding more oil as necessary.
Turning frequently until brown on all sides.
Transfer the cooked meatballs to a heavy oven proof casserole, using a slotted spoon to remove any fat and cover with the mushroom-tomato sauce.

Cover and bake for 30 mins.

serve with any cooked, al dente pasta/noodles

Before serving remove from oven, check seasonings and wait 5 mins before serving to allow contents to settle .

There will be no leftovers from this dish..promise.

If you wish to double this recipe that is fine & if you want to freeze the uncooked meatballs then make sure that the meat is ground/processed by you to ensure it's freshness, and do not use any ground meats that are frozen-defrosted.

Adding ground cinnamon increases the sweetness of the sauce without adding extra sugar.

 You will need some good crusty breads to mop up the sauce, and, afterwards, a clean tablecloth.

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