How To Make Meatballs, with Bacon!

DSC_1574Right at the end of last year my wife and I bought half a cow.  It was already processed, so we didn't have to find a place for it in the yard, just in our freezer.

I had a lot of the trim from the cutting-up process minced into one-pound packages of ground beef.  There were a lot of those little brown-paper wrapped nuggets, so this year, expect a lot of entries on what to do with it.

Luckily, our new edition of Bon Appetit magazine was laden with meatball recipes.

So, How to Make Meatballs, chapter one, begins with amatriciana-style balls and sauce.  Amatriciana usually means pumping up a tomato based sauce with chunks of guanciale, cured pork cheek.  Believe it or not, I had some of that in the fridge, from the half pig I had in the freezer.

The recipe actually called for applewood smoked bacon as a substitute, so I used some of the fatty trimmings from my homemade bacon.  So, two pounds of ground beef, two eggs, roasted peppers, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, panko bread crumbs (Japanese style), a generous lashing of hot red pepper flakes, and oregano. Oh, grated onion and garlic as well.

DSC_1591 I took off my wedding ring and watch and plunged my hands into the whole mix.  A little salt and freshly ground pepper, moosh it all up, then into the fridge to let the flavours get to know each other for about half an hour. 

The magazine featured tips on rolling meatballs, like having a bowl of cold water handy to plunge your hands into.  The chill made the balls easier to roll. While I was rolling I was frying more bacon trimmings that would be used in the sauce, but also used the resultant hot fat to brown the meatballs all over.

DSC_1598 Once browned, the meatballs came out and were set aside while I browned about 3 cups of onions, more garlic, and a couple of cans of diced tomatoes. Not to mention the 2 cups of white wine…(yes, I finished the rest of the bottle)Oh, and more hot red pepper flakes!

After simmering the sauce for a while, the meatballs went in to finish cooking and I boiled a few ounces of bucatini, since we were kinda tired of plain spaghetti. 

DSC_1604Seven minutes later we sat down to one of the best spaghetti (bucatini) and meatball dinners I have ever had.

Looking forward to learning more about pasta and sauces at our Slow Food Pasta Workshop this coming Sunday.  Visit our website to learn more.

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2 Responses to How To Make Meatballs, with Bacon!

  1. Robyn says:

    That looks fantatic! I think you’ve inspired my dinner for tomorrow night!:)

  2. Sonja says:

    You bought half a cow and have half a pig already in your refrigerator? I’m ridden with food envy! High 5’s to you…cook on!

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