Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce

I stumbled across this recipe while searching for recipes that would use up the leftover ricotta. These are giant meatballs, more similar to a meat loaf than meatballs and traditionally served on their own as a main course. I planned on cooking these on a Monday and needed a quick grocery store run first. I searched high and low at the grocery store for ground veal completely perplexed as to why it was suddenly missing. Eventually, I found the sign that ground veal had been on sale over the weekend and was of course sold out (this city seems to love veal). I ended up using ground beef and it was delicious, but I can see how ground veal would be even better. Please note this isn't a quick weeknight meal, but it's worth the time. The original below makes 12 very large meatballs. She says this serves 6, but we found that with side dishes, one was plenty (although my meatballs were probably a tiny bit larger than they should've been).

The leftover braising liquid is recommended in rice pilaf or as a base for soup.

Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce (from All About Braising)

Braising sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion (about 8 ounces), finely chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups tomato juice (I used strained tomatoes)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
680g ground veal

1. Heat butter in a large deep skillet (with a lid) over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and barely translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add bay leaf, tomato juice, and stock. Bring to a simmer, stirring once or twice, and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
3. Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 - 10 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, egg, salt, and pepper.
5. Add soaked bread crumbs to cheese and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
6. Break off hunks of veal and drop into bowl. Gently knead until evenly mixed without overworking the meat.
7. Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop out a heaping portion of the veal mixture and shape into a round ball. Arrange on a large platter.
8. When sauce is ready, reduce heat to medium-low and lower meatballs into the skillet. Spoon sauce onto top of meatballs and cover pan.
9. After 20 minutes, carefully turn the meatballs with a large spoon. Spoon sauce over top, cover, and continue to simmer until meatballs are firm and cooked through, 35 - 45 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a bit of sauce on top.

No comments:

Post a Comment