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Seamus Mullen - Grass-fed Beef Meatballs Braised In Tomato Sauce With Fresh Ricotta

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Chef Seamus Mullen is enticing our taste buds with his family favorite meatballs.
Ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 1-pound ground grassfed beef
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp preserved lemon rind
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/4 cup almonds, soaked in water for 4 hours, then strained
  • Sage, parsley and rosemary
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • Fresh pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 can san marzano tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 4 filets anchovies
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • Whole sprig of basil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • Purple basil to garnish

Serves 4

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot, heat the evoo over medium-high heat, add the shallot, basil, anchovies and garlic and sweat for 5 minute until translucent. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce by a half, about 5 minutes, then add the san marzanos tomatoes, olives and cayenne, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove from the heat and puree in the vitamix, leaving the texture a little chunky, then return to the pot.

While the sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs.

DIRECTIONS FOR THE MEATBALLS:

Combine the garlic, shallot, preserved lemon and evoo in the vitamix and puree. Then add the herbs and the almonds and pulse until the almonds are chopped up, but still coarse. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold into the ground beef. Season the beef with salt and pepper and then form into even balls roughly the size of golf balls.

Carefully add the meatballs into the simmering sauce and braise gently until the meatballs read 145 f at the center with a meat thermometer or roughly 15 minutes. Serve in a large platter with dollops of fresh ricotta, a drizzle of fruity olive oil and sprigs of purple basil.

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