Tuesday, May 11, 2010
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.