Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Savory Onion Sauced Meatballs

I love meatballs. They are the perfect little globe of deliciousness. You can serve them as a main entree, as an appetizer, in a sandwich, in soups, even on a cracker. They can be beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork ... if you can grind it you can pretty much make it into a meatball. Without a doubt they are the perfect bite!
I developed this recipe a few years ago and had forgotten about it until I found my chicken scratch notes stuffed into a cookbook. The meatballs in this recipe are light and airy, and the onion sauce they cook in is savoy and richly flavored because the onions are cooked down until they are caramelized and just slightly sweet. I am so happy I can share it with you!

Serves 2-4

For the meatballs:
------Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
1 pound ground chuck
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 slice of bread, crust removed and soak in 6 tablespoons of half & half.
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Course grind of black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Do not compact the meat. Incorporate the ingredients into the meat by running your fingers through it by gently rubbing your thumb against the pads of your fingers. I find this keeps the meat "light and airy". Make 18 - 2" balls. Instead of rolling the meat in your hands, which makes the meatball dense, flip the meat back and forth between the palms of your hands. Doing this will create a round meatball without having to squeeze or roll it. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.

For the onions*:
3 large yellow onion sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon light butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium low heat, add oil, butter and onions. Stirring occasionally, cook onion for 30-45 minutes until dark and sweet. Twenty minutes into the cooking process add the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 1 cup of beef stock

Once the onions are done raise the heat to medium high and add  the Worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt. Stir and let almost completely evaporate then add the 1/2 cup stock to deglaze the pan. Add the remaining cup of stock. Using either an immersion blender or in a blender puree the onions and stock. If using a blender pour back into pan, add a splash of beef stock if too tight or thick for your taste. Bring up to a boil add meatballs, cook for 1 minutes then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes, roasted green beans or a light salad. Enjoy!

*Alternatively, you can put all the ingredients into a small slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.

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