Slow-Braised Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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Ingredients

2 slices white sandwich bread

1 cup whole milk

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground veal

1 pound ground pork

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

1 large egg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 bottle red wine

1 quart low-sodium beef stock

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Cranberry Sauce:

10 ounces frozen cranberries

1 orange, juice only

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Begin by preparing the meatballs. Remove crusts from bread and soak in milk.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine veal, beef and pork. Squeeze out excess milk and add bread, onion, garlic, thyme and egg. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Make small golf ball sized balls. Set a heavy-based roasting dish over medium-high heat. Add a 3-count of olive oil and brown meatballs. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes ensuring to brown meatballs evenly all over. Turn the heat up to high and add red wine and beef stock. Bring to a boil then cover pan with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 45 minutes basting the meatballs every 20 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates add some more beef stock as you go. When done, remove the meatballs and set aside. Set the pan with the braising liquid on the stove top over medium heat, add honey, mustard, caraway seeds and reduce until thick and syrupy. Finish with creme fraiche and season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Place cranberries with orange juice in a small saucepan and simmer until sauce is pulpy and thick - about 10 minutes. For an appetizer, serve meatballs skewered on toothpicks with cranberry sauce on the side.
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