Baduzzi's Mama D’s Braised Beef Meatballs

Thanks so much to Michael and Annette Dearth for providing this cherished family recipe. This recipe is involved and true to the meal you would enjoy at Baduzzi Restaurant as prepared by chefs.  A labour of love, take the time, grind the mince, source the specialty meats and rest over night to develop the flavours.   There is a reason we love restaurant food, it is involved and beautiful and thoughful. Bring these intentions to your home cooking.  Even a thorough read of this beautiful recipe will give a keen-cook tips to lift their meatball game.


Notes from our Food Editor Laura Faire:

When approaching a chefs recipe, read to the bottom first, source your ingredients as carefully as possible.  Note that these meatballs are best prepared the day before and rested overnight. Then print if required, roll up your sleeves pour yourself a great glass of wine and enjoy the journey.


Mama D's Meatballs

Use fresh bought paradelle, allowing around 100g of fresh pasta per person.

500g pork shoulder minced (see tips)
500g beef sirloin, minced
125g lardo, minced
125g peppered pancetta, minced
180g fresh white breadcrumbs
 60g flat leaf parsley finely chopped
 35g whole grain mustard
 17g sea salt
 50g rice flour, olive oil for frying meatballs

Prepare the meatballs:
1. Place minced meats, breadcrumbs, parsley, mustard, salt and rice flour into a large mixing bowl and use your hands to gently but thoroughly mix.
2. Divide mixture into 30 meatballs about the size of a golf ball. Set onto a tray and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up (during this time you could start the sauce).
3. Line a large rimmed tray (a roasting pan or large slice pan) with baking paper.
4. Dust meatballs with rice flour.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and brown the meatballs in batches, adding more oil as needed.
6. Arrange browned meatballs on the lined tray in a single layer (lightly packed is fine).

Rich tomato sauce:
500ml beef stock (or 125ml store-bought reduced beef glaze)
1 tsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
½ carrot, peeled and finely chopped
¼ fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ fresh red chilli, finely chopped
75ml Madeira port wine
15ml sherry vinegar
400g can chopped tomatoes and their juices
15g basil, shopped
¼ tsp thyme leaves, chopped
½ tsp rosemary tips, chopped

Prepare the sauce:
1. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 125ml. This step is not required if you are using a pre prepared thick glaze)
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Reduce heat, add shallots, carrots, fennel, garlic, and chilli and cook for 10-12 minutes until onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in port and sherry vinegar and stir, scraping any browned pieces from the bottom of the saucepan and stirring them in.
4. Simmer until liquids are reduced by half.
5. Stir in tomatoes and juices from the can, reduced stock, basil, thyme, and rosemary, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. During this time preheat oven to 150C.
7. Pour sauce over the meatballs. Cover tray with another layer of baking paper then wrap in tinfoil. Bake for 45 minutes.
8. Cool pan to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to give a more flavoursome and moist meatballs.

To serve
40g butter, divided
1 ½ tsp thinly sliced chives
1 ½ tsp finely chopped parsley
A generous grating of Parmesan for each plate
Fresh crusty bread e.g. sourdough or baguette

Serving time:
1. To cook the pasta, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and set a second large pan onto a medium heat.
2. Unroll pasta, add to the boiling water, and blanch for 20 – 30 seconds.
3. Transfer pasta to the second pan with half a cup of the pasta water, 25g butter, and a pinch of salt.
4. Continue to cook until water is only just absorbed and pasta is tender, adding further water and/or butter as needed.
5. Meanwhile, carefully scoop half of the meatballs and sauce into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Once meatballs are just hot in the centre, stir in 15g butter and the chives and parsley, reserving a pinch of herbs for garnish. Season with salt to taste.
6. Divide freshly cooked pappardelle, meatballs, and sauce onto serving plates, top with Parmesan, and sprinkle with reserved herbs to garnish.

Serve with fresh bread on the side for mopping up the sauce. Leftover meatballs and sauce can be refrigerated (following the overnight refrigeration step) in an airtight container for up to 2 further days, or frozen in batches for up to 1 month. Thaw before following the serving instructions.

Serves 6 (5 meatballs each)

Tips from the Michael Dearth:
For the best results mince the meats yourself. Cut each into 1cm strips and pass through a mincer on a medium to fine attachment. Use your hands to mix and gently fold together, ensuring you do not over work the mixture. You can add chopped salami and pepperoni, browned spicy Italian pork and fennel sausages, and/or browned pork loin to the meatball sauce before braising for the full experience. If you want to, you can halve the proportions for the meatballs and sauce. However, because there are a few steps involved to make them, it’s better to make the full recipe and freeze half for another time – alternatively you can eat the leftovers the next day

Wine Match: La Valentina Montepulciano 2017

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