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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Veal Braised Meatball & Rice

Again, I'm trying to get the"meatball" right.  Not a triangle.  Not burnt.  Not overdone.  Not tough.  I went to my favorite cookbook, All About Braising by Molly Stevens and tried the Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce and it came out so beautifully.  Then, I took the braising liquid and made the Tomatoey Rice Pilaf on the next page which was even better.

Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce

Braising Sauce
3 Tbl unsalted butter
1 lg yellow onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups chicken stock

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk
3/4 whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesean
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 large egg, beaten
s & p
1 1/2 lbs ground veal

1) Braising Sauce: Heat butter in large skillet over medium.  Add onion, celery, garlic and cook stirring until soft and translucent, not browned, about 10 minutes.  Season lightly with s & p.  Add bay leaf, tomato juice, and stock.  Simmer, stirring for 15-20 minutes.

2) During sauce simmer, make meatballs:  Combine bread crumbs and buttermilk in small bowl.  Stir to moisten and sit 5-10 minutes.  In medium bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesean, parsley, egg, s & p.  Add bread crumbs with buttermilk and stir until mixed.  Break off hunks of veal and gently knead the meat in to blend, don't overmix.

3) Shaping the meatballs: Using a 1/3 cup measure, scoop out veal mixture and shape into ball.  Arrange on a platter.

4) Braise: When sauce ready, reduce the heat to medium low and lower meatballs into skillet.  Spoon sauce over each, cover pan and low simmer.  After 20 minutes, turn meatballs and spoon sauce over.  Simmer for 35-45 more minutes.  Sit off heat for 5 minutes.

Tomatoey Rice Pilaf

About 1 cup leftover braising liquid
1 cup chicken broth
s & p
2 Tbl unsalted butter
1 cup long grain white rice

1)  Heat oven to 350.  Measure braising liquid and add enough stock/water to equal 2 cups.  Taste for S & p and season lightly.

2) Melt butter in a deep skillet or wide saucepan over medium heat.  Add rice, stir and saute until grains are coated with butter and you hear faint crackling sound, 2-3 minutes.

3) Pour in braising liquid and bring to simmer.  Cover tightly and slide into oven to bake until rice tender, 30-35 minutes.

4) Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes and stir before serving.

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