Veal and Porcini Meatballs with Parmesan Cream

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Musings, Recipes | 0 comments

This photo is so deceptive.

There is no way I or anyone else gets away with eating just two of these Veal and Porcini Meatballs. The recipe for these may be my Most Requested Recipe, or at least a close second.

And, so I am choosing to kick off my new, and probably sporadic, series here of Most Requested Recipes. I will periodically post recipes that people ask for all the time which will force me to measure, weigh and write them out legibly.

Many of these recipes are on odd bits of notebook paper, napkins or torn off pieces of parchment paper. They are hastily scribbled as I throw them together or try to remember what I did that turned out to be so delicious.

These meatballs are a favorite hors d’oeuvres and are equally delicious with sparkling wine, red or white wine. If all the meatballs get eaten, which is highly likely, you will be left with some very tasty cream which can then be used as a pasta sauce or sauce for chicken breasts or pork chops. Some people have been known to just dunk bread in it.

Veal and Porcini Meatballs with Parmesan Cream
(makes approximately 5 dozen)

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
3 ½ cups cream
5 cloves garlic
3 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely minced onion (1 small onion)
2 slices brioche or egg bread, crusts removed
2 pounds ground veal
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon porcini powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a large saucepan with 3 cups of the cream. Smash 2 cloves of the garlic and add them to the cream along with the thyme sprigs. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then turn down and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.
Strain through a fine-meshed strainer into a bowl. Save the porcinis and discard the thyme sprigs and garlic.
Finely mince the porcinis and set them aside.
Reserve the cream for later.

Place the olive oil in a medium saute′ pan over medium high heat. Add the onions. Finely mince the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and add them to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are just starting to brown, about 1 – 2 minutes, then turn down the heat to low and continue cooking until they are soft and translucent. Cool to room temperature.

Crumble the brioche into a medium bowl and add the remaining ½ cup of cream. Push the bead into the cream and let it sit for 15 minute, or until it has completely absorbed the cream.

Place the ground veal in a large bowl. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms, the onions and garlic, the brioche and the eggs. Add in the porcini powder, 1 tablespoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper and the lemon juice and mix together very well. The mixture will be moist. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve:
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Shape the mixture into 1” balls using a small scoop or your hands. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, place the reserved cream in a medium saucepan. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir in ¼ cup of the grated parmesan cheese. Heat over medium heat until simmering.

When the meatballs are cooked, place them in the warmed cream, stirring gently to coat them.
Using wooden skewers or small forks, skewer the meatballs and place them on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and serve.
Or eat them right out of the pot.

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