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This is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, with a few changes I made to try and duplicate the meatballs we recently had at Redd Wood in Napa Valley. This recipe makes 40 - 2 oz meatballs, but can easily be reduced. I made 1/2 and froze the rest.
Meatballs 2 ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs 1 ½ cups Buttermilk 3 large eggs, beaten 1 lb each: ground sirloin, ground veal, ground spicy Italian sausage 6 oz Genoa Salami, chopped fine 3 oz grated parmesan 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped fine 3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped fine Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine the breadcrumbs and the buttermilk, stir & set aside for a few minutes. When the breadcrumb mixture is soft & mushy, combine all ingredients and separate into 2 oz balls. Handle the meat very gently. Like hamburgers, they get really tough if you compress them too much.
Place the meatballs on a grill rack and roast at 450 degrees until brown (about 30 min).If you don't have the adjustable rig for the Egg, you'll want to make a half batch or do half in the oven.
*If you are doing this in the oven, place meatballs on wire racks over foil lined baking sheets & rotate ½ way through cooking*
In a dutch oven, gently place meatballs in your favorite sauce and braise at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
I hope this works out for you. I had to try and make these after our last trip. This was my first attempt, but I was very happy with the results.
CenTex said I should share the sauce recipe, too. Most people already have a favorite, but here's mine:
Sauce (makes enough for 20 meatballs) 1 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Grated 3 Large Garlic Cloves, Crushed & Chopped 2 Tbsp Fennel Seed, Crushed and Chopped 187 ml (3/4 cup) Dry White Wine 2 28 oz Cans Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes 7 oz Jar Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste 2 Cups Water 2 Bay Leaves 2 tsp Sea Salt 1 tsp Pepper 1 or 2 Chunks Parmesan Rind 1/2 Cup Packed Basil Leaves, Chopped
Directions In large dutch oven, heat oil on medium, add onion, garlic & fennel and cook until translucent & lightly roasted, stirring frequently. Do not burn, or garlic will be bitter - reduce heat if needed (roughly 10 minutes).
Add wine and reduce until onions are caramelized.
Add remaining ingredients except basil.
Bring to a low boil, cover, and place in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour. Add basil, remove parmesan rind & serve. Whoever finds the bay leaf must kiss the chef.
We use "It sucks to be you." It's the updated version of my Dad's favorite way of telling me to stop feeling so sorry for my privileged self. He would rub his thumb and index finger together next my ear and say, "Can you hear that? That's the sound of the world's smallest violin playing 'My Heart Bleeds For You.'"