Short Rib Meatball Madness | I’m a grown man who has watched the movie Sunny with a Chance of Meatballs way too many times. It’s embarrassing. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an animated kid’s movie about food falling from the sky. Let’s just chalk up my movie preference to the fact that I just really really like real-life meatballs. And that’s because they are made with this recipe!
These balls got it all. Ground short ribs – we spared no expense – buttermilk, poblano, panko, parmesan, garlic. And two secret ingredients – hoisin and lemongrass. They are juicy little flavor grenades that I wish were falling out of the sky right now.
- Canola Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Ground Short Rib - 16 ounces
- Ground Chuck - 8 ounces
- Tomato Sauce - 2½ cups, canned (or make Agave Midnight Marinara)
- Buttermilk - 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 2
- Panko Breadcrumbs - ½ cup
- Poblano - 3 tablespoons, small dice
- White Onion - ½ cup, small dice
- Lemongrass - 1½ teaspoons, grilled, finely minced
- Hoisin - 2 teaspoons
- Kraft Parmesan - 3 tablespoons
- Garlic - 2 cloves, finely minced
- Herbs De Provence - 1½ teaspoons
- Ancho Chili Powder - ¼ teaspoon (or red pepper flakes)
- Salt - ½ teaspoon
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put the rack in the middle.
- Preheat your outdoor grill to high.
- Peel and cut your onion in half crosswise.
- Slice your lemongrass in half lengthwise.
- Lay them all on the sheet pan cut-side up and put your poblano on there too.
- Drizzle over a tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle on a ½ teaspoon of the salt.
- Pick up the pan and head out to the grill!
- Add the poblano first and grill it for around 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and dark.
- About 8 minutes after adding the poblano, toss on the onion and lemongrass cut-side down and grill for the last 7 minutes until darkened (but not burnt!).
- Take everything back inside.
- Put the poblano in a mixing bowl and cover it with a paper towel. Let the bowl sit on the counter for 15 minutes (this will make it easier to peel!).
- After 15, peel, deseed, and cut the poblano into a small dice.
- Trash the outer layers of the lemongrass and cut it up too - you only need 1½ teaspoons.
- Do the same with your onion. Use as much of the dark parts as you can.
- Now time to get dirty! Grab the same mixing bowl you used for the poblano and toss in the whole party, except for the oil and tomato sauce.
- Now get your hands in there and mix it all together really well.
- Pinch off a good bit of the meat and roll it into a ball in the palm of your hand - about the size of a golf ball. If you're using a scale, they should be around 1.3 ounces.
- Line a sheet pan with paper towels or parchment, and line up all your balls.
- Toss them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up a bit.
- Let's cook these guys. You're going to want to do them in batches so you don't crowd the pan. So put the last tablespoon of oil in the cast-iron. Put it on high heat until the oil shimmers and is about to smoke.
- Now add the first batch of meatballs. Give them enough space and don't let them touch.
- Sear them for 5 to 6 minutes, turning every 30 seconds or so, until they get a nice dark crust all over.
- Take the meatballs out of the pan and let them rest on a paper towel.
- To the same cast-iron, add the tomato sauce, and simmer it for 8 minutes over medium heat.
- Then snug the meatballs back in the sauce and toss the whole pan in the oven for 8 minutes.
- Carefully take the pan out of the oven (careful it's hot!) and let the meatballs cool in the pan.
- Spoon some of the tomato sauce over your favorite pasta.
- Top with a couple meatballs (or more) and enjoy!
* You can even use this mixture to make sliders. They're killer.
* You don't necessarily need the sauce either...just add a little chicken stock to the pan before you throw it in the oven to keep the meatballs moist.
* And don't just limit yourself to spaghetti! Throw these in a sandwich, salad or in the air!