Category Archives: Meat

Neopolitan Meatballs

 

Neapolitan Meatballs – (Polpette Alla Napolitana)

This is an old-fashioned recipe. You can leave out the pinoles and currants but if you use them it makes these polpettes special.
Polpette Alla Napolitana
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup dried currants (soaked)
  • A small loaf of day-old Italian bread with the crust removed
  • Some milk to wet the bread
  • About 1 lb. of ground beef chuck
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 1/3  cup pinoles (pine nuts)
  • Olive oil for frying
Soak the currants in a little warm water. Soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk, break it apart and put it in a bowl with the beef, parsley and garlic.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

Mix it well and add salt and pepper, the egg, cheese, the pinoles and drained currents.  Mix this thoroughly with your hands.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

Shape the mix into small balls (I use an ice cream scoop to get them the same size) and let them rest for 15 – 20 minutes and then fry in a good amount of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan.

Polpette Alla Napolitana

Keep rolling them to brown on all sides. Drain and serve with tomato sauce. They’re very good plain too.

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Polpette alla Calabrese

Polpette alla Calabrese

My grandmother Nicolina was from Salerno but her husband was Calabrese so this is how she made meatballs.

Polpette alla Calabrese

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. mix of ground pork, veal and beef chuck
  • 1 clove of garlic finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup of plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmigiana cheese
  • 2 tbs. of olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • 5 tbsp. tomato sauce

Polpette alla Calabrese

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. It’s easier to mix the 3 meats first and then add the other ingredients. You can really only do it with your hands. Shape the mix into small balls (I use an ice cream scoop to get them the same size) and let them rest for 15 – 20 minutes.  Polpette alla CalabreseFry them in a good amount of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy pan. Keep rolling them to brown on all sides. Drain and serve with tomato sauce. They’re very good plain too.Polpette alla Calabrese

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Ground Venison Skewers

Ground Venison Skewers

Ground Venison Skewers

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup dried currants (soaked in warm water 15 minutes)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • Olive oil for grill pan and basting
  • Salt and black and red pepper to taste
If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 20 minutes.
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors combine.
Remove the meat mix from the refrigerator and pull off a piece about the size of a large egg. Form this tightly and evenly on a flat skewer. If the meat is too wet, add some breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining mix.Ground Venison Skewers
Place the skewers on an oiled grill pan heated to medium-high. Baste with oil as they are grilling. Carefully turn once. Cook until the outside is slightly charred.Ground Venison Skewers
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P

Venison Ragu

Still Life with Dead Game by Frans Snyders 1579-1657

Venison Ragu

Venison Ragu

My friend Susan gave me some ground venison for my birthday. This is the first recipe I tried with it. Venison ragu is a hardy winter dish. If you can’t get venison use pork. If you do use pork, you can leave out the duck fat. That’s only necessary with lean venison.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Italian trinity
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. duck fat
  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 15 basil leaves cut chiffonade
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb. short pasta
Put on a pot of water for the pasta.
Sweat one cup of trinity in oil, then add 2 tablespoons of duck fat and lightly brown the venison. Add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the basil to the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes while the pasta is cooking.Venison Ragu
When the pasta is almost done drain and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. If the sauce is too dry add some pasta water.  Serve with optional grated cheese.

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Pan Fried Ham and Red Eye Gravy

Pan Fried Ham and Red Eye Gravy

There are lots of different recipes for red eye gravy. Some people thicken it with flour or mix in mustard, ketchup, or Tobasco. I add some molasses. Try it and see what you think, then experiment.

Add bacon fat and butter to a frying pan. Cast iron works best. Cook the ham steak on medium-high and brown it on both sides. Place the ham in a serving platter.
Add coffee, water, and molasses to the pan and bring it to boil. Deglaze the pan, lower heat and cook for a few minutes while whisking in the last pat of butter. Pour the gravy over the ham steak. This goes well with grits or biscuits.

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Pan Roast Sausage and Potatoes

Pan Roast Sausage and Potatoes

 

This one is easier than it sounds. You have to cook two things at the same time, using a sheet pan, a pot, and a frying pan – on the stove and in the oven and then put them together. It isn’t complicated if you follow the prep directions below.

 

Pre-heat the over to 425o.

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the potatoes to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain the water and add the oil, pepper, and garlic to the potatoes and give the pot a good shake to thoroughly coat them. Arrange them in the sheet pan in a single layer and place them in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes.

                                Water                                                                 Wine

After you put the potatoes in the oven, place the sausages in a frying pan and cover ½ way up with water. Cook on high until the water almost evaporates, turning them often. Then add 1 cup of red wine to the remaining water, and continue turning and cooking until the wine is half gone. Turn off heat and add the sausages and wine to the potatoes for the last 10 minutes of cooking in the oven.

Finish with 5 minutes under the broiler.


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Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

I got this one from Martha Stuart. It’s quick, easy and very good.

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, sliced &  pounded thin
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • 4 plums, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Slice pork tenderloin in one-inch pieces. Put the pieces between two sheets of Saran Wrap and pound into 1/4 to 1/2 inch filets.

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Season with salt and brown in olive oil and butter over medium-high heat and remove.

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Sauté red onion over medium heat until soft and translucent then add plums.

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Pork with Plums and Red Onions

Add vinegar, a pat of butter and stir until bubbling. Return pork to pan and toss.

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Glazed Pork Loin

Glazed Pork Loin

Glazed Pork Loin

Pork goes well with sweetness – things like apple sauce, fruit glazes and chutney. With this one the sweetness is cut with the addition of siracha for a well balanced combination of hot and sweet.

Glazed Pork Loin


Coat the room temperature loin with the rub.

Glazed Pork Loin

Brown it in a cast iron pan in olive oil. Remove to a dish, let it cool a bit and brush on the glaze. Put it back in the pan and roast for 15 – 20 minutes in a 350o oven (internal temp. 130o). Don’t over cook. Let it rest covered in foil for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Glazed Pork Loin


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Lamb with Capers and Mint

Lamb with Capers and MintLamb with Capers and Mint

A friend gave me this  Central Asian recipe for lamb with capers and mint. It works with chicken too. Just replace the mint with parsley and beef stock with chicken stock.

Lamb with Capers and Mint

Lamb with Capers and Mint

  1. Sauté the onion in oil on a low heat until softened, not brown, and remove from the pan.
  2. Add more oil and brown the seasoned room temperature lamb and remove from the pan.
  3. Add onion, ½ cup mint and capers to the pan. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Stir in stock and vinegar. Return lamb with any juices. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer for 10 minutes and then another 10 minutes uncovered until meat is done.Lamb with Capers and Mint
  5. Put the lamb in a serving dish. Check sauce for seasoning and spoon over lamb. Garnish with chopped mint.Lamb with Capers and Mint

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A Perfect Pork Chop

A Perfect Pork Chop

A pork chop is as good an any steak if it’s prepared correctly. So here’s how to prepare a perfect pork chop.

A Perfect Pork Chop

A Perfect Pork Chop

Bring the chop to room temperature. Score the edges so the fat renders when it cooks. Blot dry and season with salt and black pepper. Heat a little oil in a pan and holding the chop with tongs and sear all the edges with the heat on high.A Perfect Pork Chop
Then as one side browns add 2 pats of butter and some more oil. When the butter melts, tilt the pan and spoon it over the meat. Make sure that the hot pork fat, olive oil and butter sears every crevice. Do the same on the other side.A Perfect Pork Chop
It’s a thick chop so give it another 3-5 minutes on each side on medium heat.

A Perfect Pork Chop

Remove the chop and let it rest. Pour out most of the fat from the pan add some oil, 2 pats of butter, the vermouth and currant jelly. Deglaze the pan, whisk the sauce and pour over the chop.

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