Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Simple Juicy Beef Meatballs

Beef meatballs, Polpette di Manzo in Italian language, are a delicacy, that’s for sure, especially when they turn out soft and juicy. We made them simply by stewing them in a pan without tomato sauce, a meat dish you can pair with whatever you like.
They are not at all difficult to make but they do need a few little tricks to prevent them from becoming tough or from falling apart during the cooking process.


Serves 4, Preparation 20 mins, Cooking 25-30 mins

  • 400 g minced beef
  • 80 g stale bread soaked in cold milk
  • 50 g grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 small potato, peeled and boiled
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, a pinch
  • Nutmeg, a pinch – optional
  • a whole egg
  • A sprig of chopped parsley
  • half a glass of dry white wine
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons

Method

Soak the bread in cold milk until soft but not mushy, squeeze it well.

In a bowl put the minced meat, egg, boiled mashed potato, grated Parmigiano, the squeezed and crumbled soaked bread, salt, pepper, chopped garlic and parsley and a pinch of nutmeg if you like it.

Mix to get a homogeneous mixture. If the mixture is too soft, add a little more grated Parmigiano or breadcrumbs, otherwise add a drop of milk if it is too firm. Adjust with salt and pepper.

Now grease a bit the palm of your hands and start taking small pieces of the meat mixture to form the desired size meatballs.

Tip: try to do not make them too big or too small; if you put your index finger and thumb together to form a circle, that is the ideal shape.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO in a non-stick frying pan or saucepan, gently soften the sliced onion, then add the meatballs and brown them well, turning up the heat a little, deglaze with white wine, allow the alcohol to evaporate, add a dash of hot water, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, tossing the meatballs from time to time. Add a pinch of salt and serve.

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