restaurant week- tuesday

so, our tuesday post of our favorite restaurant recipe week, just happens to be un-fittingly called "monday meatballs."  these lovely treats come from one of the most amazing places in the world, A16.  this san francisco staple is a chestnut street treat, serving southern italian food, named from the italian motorway that runs from naples to canosa.  when we were lucky enough to eat here, we were floored by the house-cured salumi and some of their amazing pizzas. although this cookbook has many unreal recipes, we chose the monday meatballs, one of our all time favorites.  we recommend grinding the meat yourself if you can, and eat them fresh out of the oven.  if there is any book to pick up this year, this might be the one.  

Monday Meatballs
(from A16)

10 oz. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or food processor
10 oz. beef chuck, cut into 1 inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or food processor
6 oz. day-old country bread, torn into chunks and ground in a food processor
2 oz. pork fat, cut into 1 inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or chilled in a freezer for 15 mins. and chopped in a food processor
2 oz. prosciutto, cut into 1 inch cubes and ground through a meat grinder or chopped in a food processor
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tbs plus 2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried chile flakes
2/3 cup fresh ricotta, drained if necessary
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
1 (280z.) can san marzano tomatoes with juices
handful of fresh basil leaves
block of grana for grating
extra virgin olive oil for finishing

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with olive oil.
in a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, bread, pork fat, prosciutto, parsley, 1 tbs of salt, oregano, fennel seeds, and chile flakes and mix with your hands just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. set aside.
in a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, and milk just enough to break up any large curds of ricotta.  add the ricotta mixture to the ground meat mixture and mix lightly with your hands just until incorporated.  the mixture should feel wet and tacky.  pinch off a small nugget of the mixture, flatten into a disk, and cook it in a small saute pan.  taste it, and adjust the seasoning of the mixture of salt if needed. form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls each weighing about 2oz., and place on the prepared baking sheets.  you should have about 30 meatballs.
bake, rotating the sheets once from front to bake, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned.  remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.  
sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 2 tsp salt, and then pass the tomatoes and their juices through a food mill fitted with a medium plate.  alternatively, put the entire can of tomatoes in a large bowl, don an apron, and squeeze the tomatoes into small pieces with your hands.
pack the meatballs into 1 large roasting pan or 2 small roasting pans.  pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs, cover tightly with foil, and braise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the tomato sauce.
pull the pans out of the oven and uncover.  distribute the basil leaves throughout the sauce.
for each serving, ladle meatballs with some of the sauce into a warmed bowl.  grate grana over the top, drizzle with olive oil to finish, and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Joanna Jenkins said...

These sound great! And thanks for the cookbook suggestion. You're invited to cook at my house anytime :-)