Sunday suppers: Veal meatballs with artichokes & carrots

April 13, 2014

Veal Meatballs with Artichoke and Carrot

When I saw this recipe, it just screamed “Spring!!!” at me. Fresh artichokes, veal, carrots, citrus, and a bit of cream. Just heavy enough to break the chill of a spring evening, but light enough to not weigh you down as you’re moving into the warmer months. With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to post this special meal that takes a little bit of time, but shines so beautifully on the dinner table and is the perfect meal to serve family style that it is worth it!

Sunday suppers wouldn’t be complete without a wine recommendation, and this one calls for something a little acidic, reminiscent of granny smith apples and light, grassy flavors. While a sauvignon blanc will do nicely and is easy to find, if you can get your hands on a grüner veltliner from Austria, you will have a match made in heaven. My personal favorites are from Glatzer and Ott, but give any of them that you might stumble upon a try.

Veal Meatballs with Artichokes and Carrots
Adapted slightly from La Cucina Italiana magazine
Serves 4

1 large yukon gold potato, quartered
1 lemon
2 artichokes
1 1/4 pounds ground veal
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
2 egg yolks, keep separate
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil, in total
2 1/2 cups beef broth
4 medium carrots, peel and cut on the bias 1/2-inch thick
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

Cook potato in boiling water until tender, about 14 minutes.

Cut the lemon in half, squeezing lemon juice from the half lemon into a bowl of cold water, and drop the half lemon in the water as well. Reserve the other half lemon.

Cut off artichoke stems and discard. Working one artichoke at a time, cut off the top one inch of artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend the outer leaves back until they snap off close to the base, then discard several more layers of the leaves in the same manner until you reach the pale yellow leaves with pale green tips. Cut off the green tips.

Trim dark green fibrous parts from the base and sides of the artichoke with a small sharp knife, then cut the artichoke lengthwise into 8 wedges. Cut out purple leaves and fuzzy choke. Drop wedges into lemon water. Repeat with other artichoke.

Going back to the potato, drain when the cooking time is up, and let cool slightly. Pass through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Add veal, thyme, 1 egg yolk, cheese, milk, and salt. Blend mixture with hands until just combined. Form into 1-inch balls and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat, and fry meatballs, in batches, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Transfer to paper towels with a slotted spoon.

Drain artichokes and pat dry.

If needed, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet (you should have about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in there – so a little less than you started with when you browned the meatballs). Add the artichokes, carrots, and shallot, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add wine and broth, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to simmer the mixture for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and continue cooking, turning the meatballs halfway through, until the vegetables are tender and meatballs are warmed through, about another 10 minutes.

With the remaining 1/2 lemon, squeeze the juice into a small bowl. Add the egg yolk and cream, whisking together with a fork. Add the mixture to the meatballs and vegetables, stirring in and cooking for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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