Recipe courtesy Quinn Staples
750 g ground chuck
1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) fennel, fined diced
1/3 cup (75 mL) onion, fined diced
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 Tbs (45 mL) fennel seeds, toasted
2 tsp (10 mL) coriander seeds, toasted
1 ½ Tbs (25 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) ground black pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
50 mL canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
Demi-glace (available at specialty markets)
Mirepoix of ¼ onion, ½ medium carrot and 1 celery rib, medium diced
- Sweat the fennel, onion, bay leaf and garlic in oil until translucent. Season with a little salt and discard the bay leaf. Chill the mixture.
- Grind the fennel and coriander seeds (use your coffee grinder) and add to the vegetables. Combine the chilled mixture with the ground chuck and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
- Pulse 1/3 of the mixture in a food processor until thick and pasty; no more than a minute. Combine the paste with the ground chuck mixture and cook a tablespoon of the mix to check seasoning, adjust if necessary.
- Portion the meat in 30 mL round, seamless balls and lay out on a tray. Chill all the balls for 20 minutes.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat and add some canola oil. Fry the meatballs in batches, shaking the pan to brown them evenly. Reserve each batch in a casserole dish and add more oil if needed. Pour off any oil when all the meatballs are browned.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine and reduce by half. Heat the demi-glace with the wine and pour over the meatballs. The sauce should just cover the meatballs.
- Bring the casserole to a boil and scatter the mirepoix over the meatballs, cover with a lid or foil and braise in a 325° F oven for 2 hours. Serve with the celeriac purée underneath and some sauce, or with your favourite pasta.