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Smoked Tomato Sauce and Meatballs long essay with pictures.

egghead2004egghead2004 Posts: 423
edited 8:09PM in EggHead Forum
It was a rainy and windy day Saturday, but I was still able to get this sauce done. I wish I could have seard the meatballs on the egg, but with the wind and downpours I could not, maybe next time.
The entire recipe will give you 10-12 quarts of sauce, plus 50 meatballs a little larger than golf balls. Most of the herbs are added depending on taste, so there are no real hard measurments for parsley, basil, marjoram, thyme, or oregano. [p]First, I got the egg running smoothly at 250 dome temp with a small piece of hickory.
Halved about 8 pounds (20 baseball sized) of vine ripened tomatoes seasoned with pepper only. I could only fit about 4 # at a time, so I did 2 separate batches.
Fresh%20vine%20ripened%20tomatoes.jpg[p]The following picture is not from Saturday. I just want to show the concept. This time I used the inverted platesetter, and 2 grids about 3 1/2" apart. It looked similar to the picture below, but only 2 levels this time. On the top were spare ribs seasoned with salt and pepper, then drizzled EVOO over them to get the pork flavor dripping on the tomatoes.[p]Picture.jpg[p]Next I chopped 2 medium to large onions, crushed 1 head of garlic, de-stemmed a lot of fresh parsley, some thyme, and basil. See the 2 packages of mushrooms there too. Also used some dehydrated marjoram, fresh is better, but I could not find any. Oregano is good too, but again, could not find any fresh.
ingredients.jpg[p]WHILE THE TOMATOES ARE SMOKING START THE MEATBALLS.[p]I like to use equal parts 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork, and veal. Ground veal has been tough for me to get so I have been getting the veal meat cuts good for making stew, and using the food processor to make a paste out of it.
This time I used 2 pounds each of gound pork and beef, then about 3/4 pound of groud (paste) veal. Mix that up in a lage bowl with 2-3 eggs, 6 oz parmasean/assagio/romano grated cheeses, 2-3 teaspoons of salt, 7-9 slices of vienna bread mushed up with heavy cream, 1 cup of chopped parsley leaves, and a beef boulion cube/onion/butter mixture to be explained later. Mix it all up in a large bowl, leave out thew boulion.[p]Meatball%20Mix.jpg[p]Now, melt 1/2 stick of butter, 1/2 cup chopped onions, and 2 beef boulion cubes over medium heat. Stir miture until boulion is incorporated into the butter and onions. [p]Onion%20and%20boulion%201.jpg[p]Now let that cool a little, then fold into the meatball mixture. Cover bowl and put aside.[p]BACK TO THE TOMATOES[p]Go get the first round of tomatoes from the grill. They should be somewhat soft, but cooked enough where the skin comes off easily. You can see some of the pork drippings here too. Taking the skin off is optional, I do it anyway. I also cut the little vine belly button out.
If you are making a big batch like me, them add the rest of the tomatoes to the grill, drizzle some more EVOO over the ribs too.[p]smoked%20tomatoes.jpg[p]In tomoto prep, you can add them to a pan and cook them down as I have done in the past.
I started this way, but soon gave them a quick ride in the blender, seems to be faster without hurting the sauce. Then returned them to a 12 quart covered pot on low.
Now add a handful of chopped parslet leaves and 1/2 cup of whole basil leaves. Not chopping them will give you some nice color to the sauce. Add some marjoram, tyme, and oregano. Remember add fresh herbs only. I had to cheat this time with dehydrated marjoram, but don't use more than 1 dehydrated herb, it will take away from the finished product.[p]In a smaller saucepan, heat up 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO, add in the chopped onions, and crushed garlic. Cook over medium heat stirring until the onions are translucent (4-6 minutes). Add a little salt too if you want. Once done, add to the tomato sauce. Stir the sauce with a wooden spoon over low heat. [p]The sauce may not look or taste very good right now, give it some time to get all of the flavor out of the herbs. You can adjust the acidity at this point, as a pinch of sugar if it seems too tart for your taste.[p]Now go get the rest of the tomatoes, remove the skin, poke out the belly button, puree, and add to the sauce. Stir in one 3 oz can of paste per 4 pounds of tomatoes. Let the sauce heat up until it is simmering, then add the mushrooms. I like them whole, but my wife quartered them on me. Cover and let that simmer, stirring now and then.[p]Taste again, you should notice it improving. Add salt if you want, or add sugar if it is still too tart.[p]BACK TO THE MEATBALLS.[p]Melt 3/4 stick of butter along with 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.
butter%20and%20EVOO.jpg[p]Roll out 10-15 meatballs, a little larger than golf balls and place in skillet. Brown on one side, then roll em over to brown the other.
The idea here is to just sear them a little to make them stiff, then toss in the sauce. Repeat until either you can't fit anymre meatballs in the pan or you finish. I've baked them in the past, but this seems to work better. I really wanted to do this step on the egg, but it was pouring out.
By now the mushrooms will have let out all of their water, and the herbs will have bled into the sauce. Taste it, add more basil/salt/pepper/marjoram a little here if you want, remember it is what you like.[p]If the sauce is to thin, leave the cover off for a while like I did here. See the little bubbles in the center? That is all you want to see, do not burn the sauce!! I have also double stacked my burner grills to lift the pan higher above the flame.
Stir the sauce every now and then for about another 45 minutes to one hour. You need to make sure the meatballs cook.[p]
At this point, go check your spare ribs, they should be 3-4 hours into a 250 cook, so your on your way to having some tender ribs as a side dish.[p]Now start boiling you water and cook the spaghetti!
If you have more meatball mix, make the rest after you eat, there should be enough room after.[p]The sauce gets better everyday and you can always add more herbs to taste..I love basil, I put a lot in.[p]enjoy!![p]


  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    egghead2004,[p]Looks great, sounds great, smells great... nothing like the aroma of meatballs cooking in olive oil and the taste of sauce that's had several days to meld.
    Thanks for taking the time to put that together... wonderful stuff dude![p]John

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