Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson makes his savory meatballs with a mixture of lamb, veal and bacon and, surprisingly, a little ricotta cheese to keep everything moist. He serves them on an unconventional salad of grilled scallions with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
More Salads with Meat
2 pounds ground veal
1 pound ground lamb
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 thick slices of lean bacon, minced
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 cup fine, fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh ricotta
1/4 cup freshly grated montasio or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 cups water
1 1/2 pounds thin scallions, trimmed
Vegetable oil, for drizzling
1 tablespoon olive oil
One 3-ounce piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler into strips (about 1 cup)
1 preserved lemon, halved (see Note)
How to Make It
Light a grill. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix the ground veal and lamb with the eggs, bacon, shallots, fresh bread crumbs, ricotta, montasio and 2 teaspoons of salt. Shape the mixture into 40 golf ball-size meatballs.
In a wide saucepan, bring the chicken stock and water to a boil. Add half of the meatballs and simmer over moderately low heat until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meatballs to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
On another large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the scallions with vegetable oil and season with salt. Working in 3 batches, grill the scallions over high heat for about 2 minutes, turning once, until charred on both sides; return the grilled scallions to the baking sheet. Gently toss the grilled scallions with the olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings. Grill the preserved lemon halves over high heat, cut side down, for about 4 minutes, or until charred. Squeeze the grilled lemon halves over the scallions and toss again. Arrange the scallions on a platter.
Drizzle the meatballs lightly with vegetable oil and roll to coat. Grill the meatballs over high heat, rolling to turn them, until lightly charred all over and heated through, about 3 minutes total. Using tongs, arrange the meatballs on top of the scallions and serve.
The poached meatballs can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
Preserved lemons, a staple of cooking in Morocco and Tunisia, are made by salt curing. They're available at specialty food stores and Middle Eastern markets.
For these rich meatballs, Bobby Stuckey likes to pour one of his favorite Friulian reds, a velvet-textured blend of Cabernet, Merlot and the local red grape variety Refosco. A good substitute would be a vivid Washington State Merlot.
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