Sunday, March 27, 2011

Renovate Brooklyn! The Meat-a-Ball, as made by Chef Greg!

After a little whining, I managed to convince the gifted Chef Greg to reveal the secret to his fabulous italian meatballs. The recipe is listed below, but like most chefs, he emphasized that he follows this recipe loosely, and that the consistency of the meatball (the most important part!) is something you can't really describe, you have to feel it. 

Here we go........
1 lb. 80% lean ground beef.
1/2 lb. hot or mild italian sausage.
(Greg used HOT when he cooked these for us and it added a delicious little zing to the flavor. Awesome.)
1/4 cup red onion, minced.
1/8 cup garlic, minced.
10-12 slices white bread, crusts removed and cut into small cubes.
1/4 cup milk.
3 Large Eggs, whisked.
1 Pinch of Oregano.
1/4 head of fresh basil, chopped.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
3-4 cups of Tomato Sauce of your choosing.

*If you want to make your own-- rock out-- but we swear by RAGU's traditional tomato sauce on the days when you're feeling a little lazy. (And... Greg also uses this same sauce when he's busy, and he's a professional chef, so give it a go!) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a big bowl, combine beef, sausage, onion, garlic, and oregano.
In a separate bowl, soak the bread in the milk for about 5 minutes to soften it up. Add the three beaten eggs. Mix completely to form the "binder". (This is what binds the meat together into the ball shape later...) Add egg and bread mixture to the ground beef mixture, add the fresh basil, and then mix it completely with your hands. Form this mixture into 1" diameter balls.

Bake on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
Once they are golden brown, pour the sauce and meatballs into a roasting pan, and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, covered. Alternatively, you can bring the tomato sauce to a simmer and then add the meatballs. Cook in the sauce over low heat for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Serve over the pasta of your choosing. The best way to serve this is to add the pasta to the sauce, and "marry" the pasta to the sauce. Awesome! 

*Okay, this is really the last of the italian cooking for a while. It is time to prepare for summer's approach, so no more pizzas and no more pastas. Time for veggies and veggies! 

Enjoy it while it lasts! 

**The meatball photo above was nabbed from The Salted Cod website... Check it out here

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