Sunday, February 21, 2010

goat cheese meatballs with red wine reduction

Tonight's dinner was such a hit, and turned out so well, I decided to share it :)
I had a pound of ground beef that needed to be used, and a super picky girl who, for some reason, will eat almost anything if I add goat cheese to it. So I looked around for a recipe and came up with nothing. As a recovering vegetarian, not only do I not like to eat beef too much in a really meaty form, I also am at a loss when deciding how to cook it beyond tacos or chili. I also can't eat eggs, unless I feel like having knife-like pains in my stomach for a few hours. I found two recipes in Fanny Farmer, the meat loaf and the Salisbury Steak, and decided to use the moistened bread from the steak recipe and the idea about using a muffin tin from the meat loaf and then just made up the rest myself. I'm calling them meatballs, even though there isn't any eggs, because, well, that's the shape they ended up in after coming out of the muffin tin. These were melt in your mouth tender, and the before mentioned picky girl ate every last bite; even better, I enjoyed eating them.

disclaimer: I didn't measure a thing while making this, I am guessing as to about how much I used. use common sense and your own tastes as a guide for cooking these :) and I'm also terrible at writing recipes, so i hope this is comprehensible

1 lb ground beef
4 Tb butter (yes, real butter)
olive oil
1 medium shallot minced
2 Tb minced garlic
2 Tsp (or more to taste) dried Thyme
1/2 cup (or more to taste) crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 slices hearty wheat bread
1/4- 1 cup broth/bouillon (i made a reduced turkey stock at thanksgiving and froze it in an ice cube tray, I used 3 cubes and 1/2 cup of water to make a broth)
1/2 cup red wine
salt to taste
3 Tb corn starch

preheat oven to 400F
In large mixing bowl, pour the milk over your bread and let sit

in medium saute pan melt the butter and add enough olive oil to coat the pan. when the butter is sizzling, add the shallots and garlic and a pinch of salt. saute until they start to brown and add the thyme.

crumble the moistened bread and mix in the beef with your hands until uniform in texture.

continue to stir your saute pan frequently until the shallots are clear and the garlic and the shallots are both nicely browned.

turn off heat, and add 3/4 of the saute mixture to your large bowl and mix in well. leave the rest of the saute mixture in your pan.

add your goat cheese to the large bowl and fold in, keeping larger chunks as much as possible.

divide the beef mixture into 12 evenly sized balls and push into a muffin tin.

bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F until slightly browned and cooked through.

while they are baking, start your sauce.
reheat the saute pan, with 1/4 of your shallot mixture in it, add your broth and wine and let reduce by half. mix your cornstarch with cold water and add to the simmering saute pan. stir until thickened and remove from heat.

spoon sauce over meat balls to serve.
enjoy! :)

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