I present to you the grass-fed beef meatballs from Gramercy Tavern in New York City, which we had on Sunday during our afternoon in the restaurant’s kitchen with Chef Micheal Anthony (lots more on that later). These meatballs, filled with Fontina cheese cubes wrapped with Swiss Chard are then braised in a stock reduction and plated over creamy mashed potatoes and caramelized onion balsamic marmelade, has to be my favorite meatball dish, ever. It combines everything you love about the comfort food aspects of meatloaf but with the springyness and fun of meatballs.
Tonight, inspired by this wonderful meatball dish, we decided to throw together our own home grown version of the Gramercy meatballs.
You too can make juicy and meaty balls with gooey centers. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Like with any meatball, you’ll need some decent meat. While we didn’t have nice artisan farmed grass-fed beef that Micheal Anthony at Gramercy Tavern uses, we got some pretty good ground beef from COSTCO (we used 1 pound total) and mixed it up with chopped up fresh herbs from our garden (Parsley, Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Chives) along with some grated Asiago cheese.
We took some leftover white bread (a hamburger roll) cut it into cubes and toasted it in the toaster oven. Then we soaked the cubes in milk, squeezed out the excess moisture, and mixed it up good with the meat mixture, and seasoned with salt and pepper. We also added about 1/4 cup of stock. Essentially, this is no different from any good standard meatball or meatloaf formula.
We then used an Ice Cream disher to scoop equal portions of meat into balls. Using the thumbs, we made indentations in the middle of the meatballs, and filled with pieces of fresh mozzarella coated in grated Asiago cheese.
Seal up and roll back up into meatballs, coating the exterior in olive oil with your hands, and place on baking sheet.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees. Flip after 15 minutes and broil for an additional 5 minutes. If the cheese leaks out as above, its not a major tragedy. Gramercy Tavern wraps the cheese in blanched Swiss Chard in order to prevent this from happening, but we didn’t have any greens available (Spinach would work equally nicely as a wrapper) to do anything similar.
Serve over your favorite starch — we used Cous Cous. For a sauce we made a simple velouté with reduced stock, butter and roux.