Thursday, December 24, 2015
Meatballs and Nick Badovinus: Voodoo Sauce
A couple of months ago, I went to a restaurant near where I live called Neighborhood Services. I didn't think much of the appetizer menu, and when my friend wanted to order meatballs, I agreed. Out came a round platter with meatballs stuck with toothpicks in a sauce. Didn't look particularly fascinating. Until I put one in my mouth and realized that the sauce was fantastic. After that meal I searched the internet from top to bottom for that sauce recipe. I finally found it hidden in some online chef's magazine. And I knew I had to make this as an appetizer, and soon. My Christmas Eve appetizer party with the family was the perfect excuse.
Note: The meatballs served at the restaurant are made with brisket, but since I was not able to find that recipe, I made my own. And they are perfectly delicious and tender.
½ pound ground chuck
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground veal
½ cup Progresso Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup half-and-half
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup minced onion
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon dried summer savory
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be sticky. Form into balls about the size of a golf ball. Fry in oil until well-browned on all sides.
Makes about 36 meatballs
Adapted from Chef Nick Badovinus at Neighborhood Services
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 pasilla chilies, toasted and cut into thin rings
2 arbol chilies, toasted and chopped
½ cup dry red wine
½ cup bourbon
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 cups veal demi-glace
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1⅓ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt unsalted butter. Add the garlic and chilies, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add the wine and bourbon. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomato paste, then the demi-glace, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add the cream. Return to a boil and reduce the sauce, whisking often, for about 15 minutes or until it thickens to a creamy consistency and deepens in color.