Lunchbreak: Chef Chris Pandel makes meatballs

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Chef Chris Pandel



2.5 lbs ground beef (season it with salt, chili flakes, fennel seed & oregano)
4 oz. grated Grana Padano (or parmesan)
1 lb. stale bread, cubed (crust removed)
1 small onion, finely diced
1.5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lb. ricotta
milk, as needed
4-5 eggs

Season the meat generously with salt, chili flakes, fennel seed and oregano. Add the onions, garlic, parsley and parmesan. Mix by hand. Put the bread cubes in a food processor; process until finely crumbled. Add the bread and ricotta to the meat; mix by hand. Add milk to achieve a moist, soft temperature. Add eggs; continue to mix by hand until eggs are barely incorporated (don’t over mix). Form into balls; place in an oiled roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees until browned. Remove from roasting pan, discard remaining fat and place the meatballs in a heavy sauce pot. Meatballs can then be braised in any combination of pureed tomatoes, wine, stock and aromatics. Cook at 300 degrees for 2-3 hours; allow to cool in the braising liquid.


1 jar tomato puree
1/4 lb. basil, chopped
1 can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
1 cup white wine
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch chili flakes

Mix all ingredients together.

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