As I’m sure you are aware, football season is in full swing right now. Here in Austin, Tx., we have a little game going on this weekend known as the “Red River Rivalry”. You may have heard of it. This time each year super rivals, University of Texas and Oklahoma University, battle for the title of “The Golden Hat” and of course deep-rooted pride on middle ground in Dallas, Tx. Thousands of spectators travel for the game but also just for the tailgating experience as well as the Texas State Fair. The delicious and tantalizing smells of Texas BBQ and other delicous foods can be experienced from miles away.
Of course for those who can’t make it to the game or are supporting another team from home (we’ll forgive you), it is still nice to emulate that tailgating experience, especially when you are amongst like-minded appreciators of the pig skin. If you are lamenting missing your favorite game at the field, Fear not! There is a delicious recipe with features sure to please any football fan’s palette! This fabulous recipe for “Meatballs a la Pizzaiola” courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis of the Food Network, is a plate where two colossal titans of taste collide-PIZZA and MEAT!
AND Fortunately Branch Ranch Natural has special running to where you can receive a FREE 1lb package of Natural Ground Beef with an order of $49 or more!
- 8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup (5 to 6) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80% lean)
- 1 pound ground pork
- Olive oil, for frying
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Marinara sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dice the smoked mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef and pork and, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until combined. Form into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs. Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, enclosing the cheese.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil to fill the pan halfway. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees F. In batches, fry the meatballs until dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Place the fried meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.