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Meatballs Stroganoff

Tradition and convenience team up in this new interpretation of an Imperial Russian classic.
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of finely-diced yellow onion
  • 3 cups of fresh mushrooms cleaned and cubed
  • 2/3 cups dried mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 cup of hot water

  • 2 pounds of combined lean beef and pork and/or veal ground
  • ¼ cup chopped flat Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup pancetta cubed
  • cup hard Italian cheese grated
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice ground
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 tsp of canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 dried Bay leaves
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 2 tsps of tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped tomatoes or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups of beef broth or mushroom bouillon
  • ¾ cup rich sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 Tbl salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

Prepare the meatballs:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the ground meat, chopped parsley, and pancetta - use your clean hands to knead together.
  • Whisk together the egg, egg yolk, anchovy paste, and the Worcestershire sauce, then add the mixture to the meat, along with the breadcrumbs, cheese, onion powder, allspice, paprika, salt, and pepper. Knead together with your hands until combined. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature so that the flavours come together for 10-25 minutes.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flower, cayenne pepper, and salt in a shallow pie dish. Use your hands to form small balls of meat approximately 1 inch in diameter. Roll each ball in the flour mixture and place on the cookie sheet, leaving room between each ball so that they don't stick together. Place balls in the freezer for at least 3 hours. At this point, you can store the balls for future use by placing them in an air-tight container.

To continue in a slow cooker:

  • Prepare the ceramic of your slow cooker with a thin film of oil.
  • Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the Marsala wine and hot water, using the back of a spoon to submerge the mushrooms under the liquid. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
  • Sweat the onions in one tablespoon of the butter in a deep saucepan, then transfer them to the ceramic of the slow cooker. Place the bay leaves on top of the onions.
  • Wipe out the interior of the saucepan, then melt the remaining butter, then saute the fresh mushrooms over medium heat until the mushrooms have leeched all of their liquid and begin to re-absorb it (approximately 15 minutes).
  • Drain the rehydrated mushrooms through a piece of cheesecloth, retaining the liquid.
  • Add the rehydrated mushrooms to the saucepan and toss to combine.
  • Layer the mushrooms on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
  • Remove the meat balls from the freezer and place them carefully in layers inside the slow cooker on top of the mushrooms.
  • Whisk together the beef broth, the liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms, the tomato paste together. Add in the chopped tomatoes and sugar and use a hand-held mixer or ricer to pulverise the tomatoes into the liquid.
  • Pour the liquid over the meatballs and cook on the low heat setting for 5 hours.
  • When the meatballs have cooked for 5 hours, use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids carefully to a cookie sheet or mixing bowl. Whisk in the sour cream to the remaining ingredients, then carefully replace the solids into the slow cooker. Replace the lid and let cook for another 40 minutes on low heat. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

To continue in a Dutch Oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 200º F.
  • Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the Marsala wine and hot water, using the back of a spoon to submerge the mushrooms under the liquid. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
  • Sweat the onions in one tablespoon of the butter in a deep, heavy-bottomed Dutch Oven and cook until they are translucent. Add the remaining butter, then saute the fresh mushrooms over medium heat until they have leeched all of their liquid and begin to re-absorb it (approximately 15 minutes).
  • Drain the rehydrated mushrooms through a piece of cheesecloth, retaining the liquid.
  • Add the rehydrated mushrooms to the Dutch Oven and toss to combine. Add the bay leaves.
  • Remove the meat balls from the freezer and place them carefully in layers on top of the mushrooms.
  • Whisk together the beef broth, the liquid from the rehydrated mushrooms, the tomato paste together. Add in the chopped tomatoes and sugar and use a hand-held mixer or ricer to pulverise the tomatoes into the liquid.
  • Pour all but one cup of the combined liquids over the meatballs and cook in the preheated oven for four hours.
  • When the meatballs have cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids carefully to a cookie sheet or mixing bowl. Discard the bay leaves.
  • Bring the liquid to a simmer on the stove top, then whisk in the sour cream. Stir with a wooden spoon for 7 minutes on low heat while the mixture thickens. Replace the solids gently into the Dutch Oven.

Notes

Serve over rice, fingerling potatoes, or egg noodles. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chopped parsley.
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