Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Thing I Ever Ate: Meatballs @ Meatball Shop (84 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002)

You have to love a place confident enough to only have one thing on the menu.  At the Meatball Shop, you get the menu and a black marker to check off what you want.  Going through the menu is like listening  to Bubba (from Forrest Gump) talking about the different ways of cooking shrimp, except its nothing but meatballs: classic beef, spicy pork, chicken, salmon, veggie, in tomato sauce, in mushroom sauce, on a hero, in a slider, in a bowl, etc.  The possibilities are endless!  The Meatball Shop helps make the Lower East Side a viable foodie neighborhood with Stanton Social and WD-50 nearby.  Be sure to save room for dessert (they make customizable ice cream sandwiches). Anyway, I came across their pork meatball with spicy sauce recipe and had to share it (with a few of my modifications):


2lbs - Ground Pork  
1 1/3 tbsp - Kosher Salt
4 - Hot Cherry Peppers (minced)
2oz - Pepper Pickling Liquid
4 - Slices of Potato Bread (minced)*
3 - Eggs
2 tbsp - Olive Oil
1/2 - Red Onion (minced)**

* The original recipe calls for white bread, but I prefer potato.
** This is not in the original recipe, I prefer the taste of red

Spicy Meat Sauce
1 - Red Onion (diced)***
1lb - Ground Pork
2 tbsp - Olive Oil
2 tsp - Chili Flakes
2 tsp - Kosher Salt
2 tbsp - Tomato Paste
2 - 28 oz Cans of Tomatoes (chopped - preferably San Marzano)

*** The original recipe uses yellow onions

1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2) Combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
3) Drizzle the olive oil into a large baking dish (9 x 13), making sure to evenly coat the entire surface (use your hand to help spread the oil).
4) Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs, making sure to pack the meat firmly.
5) Place the balls into the oiled baking dish so that all of the meatballs are lined up evenly in rows and are touching each of their neighbors in a grid.
6) Roast until firm and cooked through (about 14 minutes).
7) Allow the meatballs to cool for five minutes before removing from the tray.

Spicy Meat Sauce
1) Cook the onions and pork with the olive oil, chili and salt over a medium heat in a large pot , stirring constantly until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the onions are soft and begin to brown (about 15 minutes).
2) Add the tomato paste and cook for five minutes.
3) Add the canned tomatoes and stir constantly until sauce begins to boil.
4) Continue cooking for 35 minutes, stirring every four or five minutes so that the sauce does not burn.

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