1 lb. ground beef (I use 1/2 of both beef & pork)(I usually use equal parts beef, pork, veal)
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup flour
TO MAKE MEATBALLS (use your own recipe if you’d like. My meatballs are really cheesy)
Put egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, milk, salt & pepper into a large bowl. Stir it to thoroughly mix until it makes a slurry. Add the meat & parsley to the breadcrumb mix, making sure it’s all incorporated. Form the meat into inch balls. ( I use a scooper, which is about 1 tablespoon) Put the flour in a pie plate & add the meatballs a few at a time. Roll them in the flour then shake off the excess. Put aside until ready to use.
NOTE: Again, I included my favorite meatball recipe, but by all means use your own, if you’d like.
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced to 1/2 pieces (or bacon)
1 large onion,sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 lbs. mushroom caps, sliced
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 carrots cut into 2′ pieces
1/2 lb pearl onions (approx. 18), you can use frozen as well.
1 cup frozen peas
Put the olive oil in a large pot or a dutch oven. Add the pancetta to brown, over medium heat. Remove the pancetta, set aside & add the meatballs in 3 batches, making sure not to crowd them. Brown the meatballs but don’t worry if they’re not cooked all the way through. They’ll continue to cook in the stew. Remove each batch & set them aside.
In the same pot, add the sliced onions, carrots & garlic. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or just until the onion become slightly soft & translucent.
Put the tomato paste in a glass with the wine & stir. Add the wine to the pot, scraping the bottom & sides. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the stock. Return the meatballs & pancetta to the pot; bring to a boil. Add the pearl onions & lower the heat. Simmer for about 1-1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Put the peas in the pot, give it a good stir & serve.
DIVA NOTE: If you’ll be serving this stew to kids, just eliminate the wine & add more beef stock.