This weekend I made the most delicious meatballs with rosemary sprigs for toothpicks for a tailgate and ate m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶ ̶h̶a̶l̶f̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ just a few, before they were served. The truly conflicting part was that I initially wanted to make them because of their adorable presentation potential but then ended up eating so many beforehand that I almost jeopardized the cuteness effect by not having enough to fill the platter. Um... Oops! #cantstopwontstopeatingmeatballs? But the good news is that, at my expense, you have a verifiable testimonial that these mini balls of meat are just as tasty as they are petite (in that way that all things mini are cute). And, my expert recommendation: hold a few back or up the proportions so that you're not met with the same dilemma I faced: gorging yourself vs. doing the responsible thing.
I'm not going to lie to you... this was not the easiest recipe in the world to make nor was it the quickest one. But trust me on this one when I say, to the sweater go the spoils! #realisticcookingimagery
One of the primary selling points for me, was the generous amount of parmesan cheese that the recipe calls for but, if that's not what brings you to the yard.. You can't deny that these make a fabulous holiday party snack.... Guaranteeeed to garner ooh's and ahh's in all applicable sensory categories.
But alright, enough of my sales pitch. Let's get started because this recipe isn't short and I know how long the average attention span of my readers is, based on my Google analytics data ;).
MINI MEATBALLS WITH ROSEMARY TOOTHPICKS
*This recipe yields about 60 meatballs
EXTRA VIRGIN OIL
3 SMALL ONIONS (DICED SMALL)
3 CLOVES GARLIC (SMASHED AND FINELY CHOPPED)
3/4 POUNDS OF GROUND BEEF
3/4 POUNDS OF GROUND PORK
3 TABLESPOONS OF FRESH ROSEMARY (CHOPPED FINE)
3/4 CUP OF FRESH PARMESAN (GRATED)
1/2 CUP OF BREAD CRUMBS
3 LARGE EGGS
2 CUPS OF CHICKEN STOCK
ROSEMARY TO MAKE TOOTHPICKS OR A ROSEMARY TREE
- Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add the onions, seasons with salt and cook until soft (and very aromatic :) for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Transfer the onions to a large bowl and add the beef, pork, rosemary, parmesan, 1/4 cup of water, bread crumbs and eggs. Season generously with salt. Use your hands to combine everything well (mixture should be pretty loose). Add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary.
- Make a little tester "patty" in a small saute pan: Heat a bit of oil and cook the patty. Cook and taste when cool enough to check for seasoning.
- Roll the mixture into about 1-inch balls.
- Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring it to high heat. Cook the meatballs until well brown on all sides. The add about 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan and cook until stock is reduced by half (about 3-5 minutes). Remove the meatballs from the pan and "reserve" (you don't want to overcrowd the pan,so you will probably have to cook the meatballs in batched by repeating this process until all meatballs are cooked).
AND NOW FOR THE BEST PART: Make toothpicks out of Rosemary stems OR if you opted to buy a rosemary tree (not that expensive at the grocery store and ALSO: the symbol of friendship), cut sprigs off the tree to use as toothpicks and stick them in your meatballs. I went for the tree option and now have a beautiful addition to my kitchen that is sending out positive friendship vibes in some way! :)
They are "Muah! Delicioso! "
(And I'm pretty sure The Wedding Singer would have agreed to have been paid in these meatballs too!)