Poor Walter. It seems that whenever he goes out of town, I go totally cooking mad. Take last year for example. He was working in Atlanta on a production job while I was still living in Los Angeles. I was finishing up culinary school at the time and had a month of finals to prepare for, which meant practicing new recipes almost daily.
My roommates were lucky enough to be on the receiving end of all of those culinary delights. Unfortunately for Walt, he had to resort to commenting on mere pictures of Chicken Fricassee, Steak Dianne, and Sole a la Meuniere, with promises to make them again in our future. (I know it sounds like torture, but I had to make him realize what he was missing.)
Now we're living pretty much in reverse. Walt is in Los Angeles working on a Lowe's commercial, and Goose and I are holding down the fort in Atlanta. While I've been enjoying Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ham and Linguine Casserole, Walt has been subsisting on craft services, fast food, and takeout. (Now he better know what he what he is missing!)
I'm headed out to Tinsel Town on Sunday to catch up with old friends, and perhaps I'll grab a baked hand crab roll at Katsuya if I'm lucky. (Okay, okay, I'm really just going for the food. My friends are just a sorry excuse for sushi.) Oh, and did I mention it is a crisp 72 degrees? Please don't be jealous.
In the meantime, I'll just wrap my blanket tighter and have another bowl of these delicious meatballs. As for Walt, I just emailed him a picture -- and a promise to make them again in the future. Yep, poor guy.
This stick-to-your-ribs dish is a bit like Beef Stroganoff, but not quite. The meatballs are light and fluffy and also taste great with spaghetti and tomato sauce, or all on their own. This recipe yields quite a few (about 45-50), but you can freeze half or just save them for meals later in the week. You can really never have too many meatballs, right?
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
4 slices white bread (dipped in the buttermilk and squeezed out)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Generous amount of kosher salt and pepper
Fresh dill or Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
FOR THE MUSHROOM SAUCE:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces mixed mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons red wine
1/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt, to taste
FOR THE MEATBALLS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place ground beef and veal into a large bowl. Add bread, eggs, onion, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and combine thoroughly. Using a small spring action scoop (and your hands), form meat mixture into small round balls. Place meatballs on a large baking sheet. Once all meatballs are rolled, place in freezer for 10 - 15 minutes to set.
In a large skillet, heat canola oil on medium to medium-high heat. Brown meatballs in small batches for approximately 2 - 3 minutes, flipping once, but do not allow to cook all the way through. Place browned meatballs on baking sheet. Once all the balls are completed, put them in the oven for 6 - 8 minutes, then turn the oven off. Keep meatballs in the oven (to remain warm) while preparing the mushroom sauce.
FOR THE MUSHROOM SAUCE: In a sauce pan, melt butter at medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until dark and tender, approximately 10 minutes. Add flour and cook until none is visible. Pour in the beef stock and increase to high heat. Reduce stock by half (it should be bubbling away), approximately 10 minutes (more or less depending on the size of the pan). Add the red wine and reduce a bit longer. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste. Stir in sour cream and check again for seasoning.
Add the meatballs to the sauce (I used 1/2 of the batch and saved the rest for later). Simmer on low to warm meatballs if necessary. Serve over egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.