Fancy meatball, originally uploaded by espeedy123.
Michael ordered the world’s poshest meatball. This lone giant comes stuffed with fontina cheese, perched atop pureed potatoes. I must admit it was really, really tasty.
What I found funny was that he swears to hate meatloaf, and yet that’s what this dish suggested to me. A diner dinner done fancy. I left thinking I would attempt my own interpretation of a giant meatball (mini-meatloaf) when I returned home.
What better time to fulfill that promise to myself than now, in honor of National Meatloaf Appreciation Day!
Tonight I put together a homier version of the dish that was not quite as fine, but almost! And for a lot less than $20 per meatball. 😉
I started with a basic recipe for meatloaf that used one pound of ground beef. This is enough for four large meatballs. I cut a hunk of fontina cheese into four 3/4 inch cubes. To avoid having the cheese seep out, I wrapped each cube in a clean, dry spinach leaf. At the restaurant there was some sort of green used for this purpose, but theirs was much neater. Looking back, maybe cooking the spinach a bit could have made this go smoother. And don’t use the baby kind, it’s not large enough. People eat too much of that bagged baby spinach, but that’s another topic…
I wrapped the meatloaf around the cheesy package and created four balls, somewhere in between a golf ball and a baseball. I sauteed them on all sides in a pan and finished them in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I used that time to sautee some onions in the same pan and reduce some beef stock for the gravy.
Voila! Fontina-stuffed giant meatball, or mini-meatloaf, depending on who you’re trying to please.
If I were to do this again I think I might try smaller meatballs and not worry about the spinach. Perhaps someone whose done stuffed meatballs before could tell me whether the cheese seeps out?