Beef-and-Bacon Meatballs

Total Time:
2 hr
30 min
1 hr 30 min

48 meatballs

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • For the meatballs:
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Chopped fresh chives, for topping
  • Make the sauce: Combine the red wine, port, shallots, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and bacon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken broth and continue cooking until reduced by half, about 40 more minutes (you should have about 2 cups liquid). Strain into a clean saucepan.

  • Mix the butter and flour in a bowl to form a paste. Whisk the paste into the sauce and simmer over medium heat, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream and season with salt. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, make the meatballs: Pulse the bacon and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix until just combined. Dampen your hands and form into about 48 meatballs, 1 inch each.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs to the skillet and cook, turning, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

  • Wipe out the skillet, add the sauce and the meatballs, and cook over medium heat until the sauce is simmering and the meatballs are heated through, about 2 minutes. (Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water if the sauce is too thick.) Top with chives.

  • Photograph by Andrew Purcell

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