Best Meatballs in the U.S.

“When the public goes into a frenzy over something like a cupcake or a meatball, it may be annoying to us jaded foodie observers, but at ...
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Imperial; Portland, Oregon

“The taste is part duck à l’orange, part mole, and part a sweet and sour stew that I remember my grandmother cooking for our family during the holidays,” says chef Vitaly Paley of his superb meatballs. Paley first grinds a mixture of duck, prunes, house-cured and -smoked bacon, toasted bread crumbs and spices (star anise, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and wood-fire-dried oregano). The meatballs are roasted, then braised with prunes, carrots, dried pasilla chile, red wine, cream, sherry, brandy, charred onion and duck stock. The aromatic dish is finished with crispy orange gremolata. “The result is sweet, sour and spicy,” says Paley.

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