These are the Biuso family classic Christmas meatballs. We don’t stuff a turkey (there’s enough to do without all the carry-on of stuffing a bird) but we love stuffing. And we love crispy stuffing even more, so I make balls. My son Luca will cry if he doesn’t get them. You might get addicted, too.
½ cup chopped shallot 50g (about 1¾ oz) butter 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed 170g (about 6 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs 50ml (about 1.7 fl oz) milk 1 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated nutmeg 1 Tbsp chopped parsley 1 Tbsp chopped thyme 1 Tbsp chopped marjoram 1 large egg 500g (1 lb 1 oz) minced pork 3 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp butter
1 Cook shallot in butter in a small pan, covered with a lid, over gentle heat until tender and lightly golden, 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook briefly. Cool.
2 Put crumbs in a bowl and pour the milk over them. Leave to absorb milk for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, herbs and egg, mix together, then scrape in onion and all the buttery juices. Add minced pork and beat with your hand (I wear a food glove!) for 2-3 minutes to lighten. The mixture should be loose, not sticky or firm, and should stick to the glove when you lift it out of the mixture, then drop off slowly. Beat in 2-4 tablespoons of water if necessary to loosen mixture. With damp hands, shape into small meatballs.
2 Heat oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Drop in butter and quickly add about half the meatballs; don’t crowd the pan or they won’t brown properly. Cook until golden brown all over, turning with 2 spoons. Transfer to a plate when done, then transfer balls to a warmed serving platter and serve hot.
The balls can be fried off the day before if necessary (cool then refrigerate). Reheat gently in a large frying pan (skillet).