A16's famous meatball recipe

August 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A16's famous meatballs! One of San Francisco's most popular restaurants releases their secret recipes in their new cook book!

Monday Meatballs (p. 215)
Serves 6 (about 30 meatballs)

  • 10 ounces boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor
  • 10 ounces beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meet grinder or finely chopped in a food processor
  • 6 ounces day-old country bread, torn into chunks and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor
  • 2 ounces pork fat, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes and then finely chopped in a food processor
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes and then finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 2/3 cup fresh ricotta, drained if necessary
  • 3 egs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes with juices
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Block of grana for grating
  • Extra virgin olive oil for finishing

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, bread, pork fat, prosciutto, parley, 1 tablespoon of the salt, oregano, fennel seeds, and chili flakes and mix with your hands just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, and milk just enough to break up any large curds of ricotta. Add the ricotta mixture to the ground meat mixture and miz lightly with your hands just until incorporated. The mixture should feel wet and tacky. Pinch off a small nugget of the mixture, flatten into a disk and cook iti in a small sauté pan. Taste it and adjust the seasoning of the mixture with salt if needed. Form the mixture into 1 ½-inch balls each weighing about 2 ounces, and place on the prepared baking sheets. You should have about 30 meatballs.

Bake, rotating the sheets once form front to back, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 300 F.

Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and then pass the tomatoes and their juices through a food mill fitted with the medium plates. Alternatively, put the entire can of tomatoes in a large bowl, don an apron, and then squeeze the tomatoes into small pieces with your hands.

Pack the meatballs into 1 large roasting pan or 2 smaller roasting pans, Our the tomato sauce over the meatballs, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and braise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the tomato sauce.

Pull the bans out of the oven and uncover. Distribute the basil leaves throughout the sauce.

For each serving, ladle meatballs with some of the sauce into a warmed bowl. Grate grana over the top, drizzle with olive oil to finish, and serve immediately.

Nate Appleman is executive chef of A16 and SPQR, both in San Francisco, CA. In 2007 he was named a rising star chef by the San Francisco Chronicle and in 2007 and 2008 was nominated for a James Beard Award. Shelley Lindgren, wine director of A16 and SPQR, was named Best Wine Director by San Francisco Magazine, as well as one of the top ten sommeliers in the country by Bloomberg Markets magazine. She has taught wine classes at the Culinary Institute of America and is a wine educator at Tante Marie's Cooking School. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier.

Event Info: Celebrate the launch of A16 Food+Wine with a wine and food pairing hosted by Shelley Lindgren and Nate Appleman

Williams-Sonoma 340 Post Street, San Francisco, CA

August 20th from 6pm - 8pm

For more information, visit www.williams-sonoma.com

Nate and Shelley will be hosting a wine and food pairing and book signing at our Union Square store later that evening (6-8pm). We are pre-selling the book by phone (415.362.9450) and with each book purchased you get a ticket to the event so you can meet the authors and learn about food pairing while you taste 3 food/wine pairings from the A16 book!

In A16 Food+Wine Appleman and Lindgren share the source of their inspiration - the bold flavors of Campania. From chile-spiked seafood stews and savory roasts to delicate antipasti and vegetable sides, the recipes are beguilingly rustic and approachable. Lindgren's vivid profiles of the key grapes and producers of southern Italy provide vital contact for appreciating and pairing the wines. Stunning photography captures the wood-fired ambiance of the restaurant and the Campania countryside it celebrates.


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