Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc Meatballs

Meatballs are all the rage in New York these days, appearing on menus all over city.  Hell, there's even The Meatball Shop, a Lower East Side restaurant dedicated to all things meatball.  Naturally, I decided to make meatballs at home this past weekend using Thomas Keller's recipe from  Ad Hoc at Home.  Why leave my apartment for meatballs when I could make my own using a recipe from one of the best chef's in the country? 

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes the Ad Hoc meatballs so great.  The mixture is fairly traditional: ground chuck, sirloin, pork, and veal, an egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, sauteed garlic and onions, salt and pepper.  I suspect it's the combination of ground meats that makes the difference, giving each meatball the perfect fat ration. 

 One of the key touches to Keller's meatballs is a small cube of fresh mozzarella cheese that gets inserted into the middle of each meatball prior to cooking them.

In my limited meatball experiences, I have only braised them in tomato sauce.  Keller's are roasted at 425F.  I was concerned that roasting at a high temperature would dry out the meatballs, but the combination of meats and cheese keeps these quite moist.  As anal as Keller supposedly is in the kitchen, I'm sure he would discard any meatball that springs a mozzarella leak, but I think it just makes it more enticing.  Significant Eater actually insisted on being served this one. 

I topped Keller's meatballs with Marcella Hazan's classic tomato-butter sauce, making it a old school meets new school meal. 


  1. oooh! those with marella's butter tomato sauce? how indulgent. i have made her sauce once. so good and rich. you must have been in heaven!

    just found your great blog today--am enjoying it!

  2. Haha, yes it it was quite indulgent to have the butter sauce with the meatballs, but it was so good. Glad you found my blog! Thanks for commenting :)

  3. These look delicious! Perfect for a weeknight meal but tasty enough for a special Sunday dinner.

    BTW - I really want your bookcase! That's an excellent photo.

  4. Mmm...I just got this cookbook myself and I was wondering where to begin. Meatballs are always a good thing, right? They look delicious!

  5. Kelly, You can never go wrong with meatballs. If you make Keller's, please let me know how they turn out.



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