Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guinness Braised Turkey Meatball Hoagie

Come close. Closer. OK thats good. 

Want to know the secret to life's problems? Sorry can't help you there, but I do know the secret to moist, flavorful turkey meatballs...BEER! I know I surprised you there. You thought I might have said beef which is what I always thought. But no, a good old bottle of pale or dark ale is all you need for consistently moist, never dry, turkey meatballs. This day I went with Guinness for my beer choice, since St. Patty's Day is right around the corner. Why not celebrate the best way the Irish know how, with a pint of Guinness. And maybe if your not a fan of red meat, instead of only eating the cabbage this year, you can make these festive turkey meatballs instead. 

This recipe is as simple as can be, using staple ingredients, a cup of your favorite beer, and a little shake of the pan. These delicious meatballs can be eaten anyway your heart desires; appetizers for a party, thrown on top of pasta with gravy, or as we like to call it in jersey, on a hoagie. A long bread roll, smothered with butter, garlic, and cheese, then toasted till the cheese is melted, and the bread is golden brown. Then spoon on freshly sauteed spinach, a helping of turkey meatballs and a drizzle of that fine au jus that is left in the pan after the meatballs are done cooking. My mouth is watering just thinking about this meal. Move over beef, there's a new meatball in town! 

Guinness Braised Turkey Meatball Hoagie



Begin by soaking day old bread in milk. The milk helps soften the bread and turn it into a great binder for the meatballs. In a separate bowl combine ground turkey, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. 


Next chop up fresh parsley and add it to the ground meat mixture along with an egg, and chopped garlic. Also squeeze out the excess milk from the bread pieces and add to the turkey. Mix till well combined. 


At this point you will want to start heating the olive oil in a pan on the stove top till it is smoking. Form the turkey mixture into 2 1/2" balls. Drop them one at a time into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan as you will need to rotate the meatballs to brown all sides and it is easier if there is a little room to maneuver. Once all sides have browned, but meatballs are not cooked thoroughly,  move them to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process with remaining meatballs till all are browned.


Place all the meatballs back into the pan with beer and some chicken or vegetable broth. Cover pan with aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes. Shake the pan every few minutes to splash the liquids on top of the meatballs. Halfway through the 15 minutes, uncover and flip the meatballs. Recover and continue to shake the pan every few minutes till the meatballs are done. If your using fresh spinach for your sandwich, rinse and drain the spinach. Then throw it in a pan with a little olive oil; cover and let liquids escape and wilt down the spinach, about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, uncover, still cooking and let any liquid evaporate.  


Assemble sandwich by spreading butter, chopped fresh garlic, salt, and mozzarella cheese on a long roll. Toast till cheese is melted and bread is browned. Arrange sauteed spinach on the inside of the bread, then place the meatballs and drizzle with au jus left in the meatball pan. Serve with a chilled mug of Guinness. 

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic. " ~Adrienne Cook  

And this is just the recipe to do it. 


Guinness Braised Turkey Meatball Hoagie
Makes: 15 Servings  |  Prep Time: 5 minutes  |  Cook Time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
For the Meatballs:
2 slices day old white bread, crusts trimmed
1/2 cup milk
1.5 lbs ground turkey meat
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Guinness beer
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

For the Sandwich:
16 oz fresh spinach
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
5 six inch long rolls
1 tbs butter
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt

1. Cut off the crusts of the day old bread slices and then cut into 1" pieces. In a small bowl, soak bread in milk. In a separate bowl combine ground turkey, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. 

2. Next chop up fresh parsley and add it to the ground meat mixture along with an egg, and chopped garlic. Also squeeze out the excess milk from the bread pieces and add to the turkey. Mix till well combined. 

3. Heat the olive oil in a 10" pan on the stove top till it is smoking. Form the turkey mixture into 2 1/2" balls. Drop them one at a time into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan as you will need to rotate the meatballs to brown all sides and it is easier if there is a little room to maneuver. Once all sides have browned, but meatballs are not cooked thoroughly,  move them to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process with remaining meatballs till all are browned.

4. Place all the meatballs back into the pan with beer and some chicken or vegetable broth. Cover pan with aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes. Shake the pan every few minutes to splash the liquids on top of the meatballs. Halfway through the 15 minutes, uncover and flip the meatballs. Recover and continue to shake the pan every few minutes till the meatballs are done. 

5. Rinse and drain the spinach. Saute in a pan with a little olive oil; cover and let liquids escape and wilt down the spinach, about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, uncover, still cooking and let any liquid evaporate.  

6. Assemble sandwich by spreading butter, chopped fresh garlic, salt, and mozzarella cheese on a long roll. Toast till cheese is melted and bread is browned. Arrange sauteed spinach on the inside of the bread, then place the meatballs and drizzle with au jus left in the meatball pan. Serve with a chilled mug of Guinness.