Lunchbreak: Meatballs, prepared by Pizzeria Bebu chef Jeff Lutzow

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Executive Chef Jeff Lutzow

Pizzeria Bebu
1521 N. Fremont Street
(312) 280-6000


1 lb. ground beef (at least 25% fat)
1 lb. ground pork (at least 25% fat)
1 medium onion, minced
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, minced
4 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. fatty pancetta or bacon, finely minced
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red chili flake
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz. fresh white bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 unpacked cups)
1/3 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed

Bowl of a stand mixer combine bread with buttermilk, tossing to coat. Let stand, tossing occasionally, until bread is completely moist, about 10 minutes. Squeeze bread between your fingers or mash with a spoon to make sure there are no dry spots; if there are dry spots that refuse to moisten, add more buttermilk one Tablespoon at a time until bread is moist throughout. Add onion, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, salt, pepper, finely diced pancetta, egg yolks, chili flake, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, and fennel to bread/buttermilk mixture. Set mixer bowl in stand mixer and attach paddle. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, beat bread mixture until thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. Add 1/3 each of the beef and pork and beat at medium-high speed until thoroughly blended with bread mixture. Remove bowl from stand mixer and add remaining beef and pork. Using a clean hand, gently mix meatball mixture, just until ground beef and pork are thoroughly distributed throughout; avoid mixing any more than is necessary for even distribution. Preheat broiler and set oven rack in upper position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form meatball mixture into golf ball-sized balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet; you should be able to make about 20. Broil meatballs until browned on top, about 7 minutes (browning times can vary dramatically, depending on oven broiler strength). Heat your favorite tomato sauce in a medium pot until simmering and add meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are just cooked through and register about 145F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes. Serve meatballs, spooning sauce all over and grating more cheese on top.