Hello again! Apologies for not posting - my beloved camera took a bad fall last week and needs some repairs. Hopefully we can get back to regular posts shortly.
Despite my lack of photographic evidence, I did do an absurd amount of cooking last week. I managed to snap these photos before the accident and I'm glad I did because they happen to be a family favorite. My dad makes these meatballs for party appetizers, particularly around the holidays. I have fond memories of my half sister and I hovering over the dish in the kitchen poaching them off the stove.
- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef (highest fat content)
- 2 1/2 lbs ground pork (or veal for non-pork eaters)
- 1 small onion (minced)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Red pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 3 tomatos
- 1.5 oz can tomato sauce
- 1-3 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 handful chopped parsley
In a large bowl mix meats together with your hands or two forks. Add 1/2 the onion, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and mix fully. Next spice the meat by sprinkling a light layer of bread crumbs, red pepper, cumin and salt. Mix. Repeat this step 5 more times until well spiced. To test, roll a small meat patty and fry in a pan of the stove top. Taste and adjust spices to liking. Roll the rest of the meat into bite-sized balls and lightly brown in the pan. The inside will remain uncooked. Don't worry, it will finish cooking in the liquid.
In a small pot bring water to a boil. Add tomatoes for about a minute or until the skin cracks open. Pour out water and douse tomatoes in ice water. Peal the skin off and de-seed the innards.
In a large pot saute the rest of the onion in oil. Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook until soft and then mash the tomatoes a bit. Add the tomato sauce and herbs and cook for another minute or two. Add 1 cup broth and cook down for 10 minutes.
Place meatballs in the liquid and top off with more broth until fully covered. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Before serving I like to remove the meatballs and adjust the sauce. I often skim off excess fat and add a roux (butter and flour) to thicken it up a bit. You can also add a bit of cream if you want. Give yourself the freedom to test things out but don't forget to taste!
Serve hot with toothpicks.