Pork Polpetti e Potate Al Forno
I have been playing around with this recipe for ages and sometimes I like to make it from scratch but one great way to an outstanding result is by trusting your butcher. I use the meat from Italian style pork and fennel sausages as a base to make full flavoured balls with a desirable soft texture.
These meat balls could also be browned, as described, then added into a Napoli sauce base and simmered for 25 minutes to be simply served with pasta. Another option to give these meatballs a little surprise flavour and texture is to add 80 grams of pine nuts into the mix.
Serves 6 mains
400 grams of pork mince, fine
400 grams pork and fennel sausages (quality Italian fat ones) taken from the skin and crumbled
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons nutmeg, grated
100 grams Parmesan, grated finely
150 grams of fresh breadcrumbs
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 brown onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons Greek dried oregano
1/2 bunch of continental parsley, chopped finely
2 fresh bay leaves
160ml virgin olive oil
150 grams flour
5 potatoes (dutch creams or desiree, peeled and sliced into 1/2 cm discs)
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 litre chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons extra Parmesan
1 1/2 tablespoons extra breadcrumbs
In a medium sized fry pan over medium heat, add the oil, onion and garlic, season lightly, stir and cook for 3 minutes until translucent. Tip into a bowl to cool.
In the bowl of a food processor add the meats and the egg, zest, Parmesan, oregano and breadcrumbs. Blend until you have an homogeneous paste then tip into a bowl.
Add the chopped parsley by hand and mix in to combine.
Roll the mix into 100 gram balls and roll in flour. Then fry in a pan with 100ml virgin oil over medium heat and brown for approx. 5 mins on all sides, rolling them around the pan.
Transfer the balls to a large baking tray with sides (approx. 40cm x 25cm). Alternate the potato slices in the dish with the seared meat balls.
In a pot, add the stock and lemon juice, 2 bay leaves, the tomato paste and 60mls virgin olive oil and simmer for 3 mins.
Pour the stock over the meat balls and potato in the tray then scatter over the top the extra breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, plus 2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
Tip: You can also set up smaller portions in aluminium trays to keep in the fridge all ready for a quick cook.
Pre-heat oven to 220C
Cover the tray with baking paper and foil, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Uncover and cook for further 15 minutes until golden brown on top.
I like to add a simple salad and some sourdough bread.
Find everything you need to create your own Pork Polpetti e Potate Al Forno at the following Queen Vic Market traders.
Pork mince and Pork & fennel sausages: Alec Watson & Sons, Meat & Fish Hall
Parmesan: The Epicurean, Dairy Produce Hall
Potatoes: The Apple Corner, B Shed
Herbs, garlic, onion, lemon: Green Leaf Grocer, H Shed
Breadcrumbs, flour & nutmeg: Rare Organics, I Shed