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Belgian Meatballs Braised in Beer

Meatballs:
1 c Fresh white bread crumbs
1/4 c Milk; or more
1 lb Ground beef, lean
1/2 lb Ground pork or veal
1 lg Egg
1 tb Shallots; minced
1 tb Parsley, fresh; fine minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pn Nutmeg; grated
2 tb Flour
2 tb Unsalted butter
1 tb Vegetable oil

Sauce:
1 md Onion; thinly sliced
3 Belgian endive; cored/cut in 1/4-inch rounds
1 ts Sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 tb Flour; up to 2 tb
1 c Blond Pilsner-style beer
1/2 c Beef broth; or chicken
2 tb Parsley, fresh; garnish


To prepare meatballs, soak bread crumbs in milk until thoroughly moistened; squeeze dry with hands. Combine bread crumbs, ground meats, eggs, shallots, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg in medium bowl. Form mixture into 6 to 8 balls or patties (2 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick); dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Heat butter and oil in deep, heavy Dutch oven, until hot but not smoking, over high heat. Add meatballs; cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes, making sure butter does not burn. Remove meat balls to platter; keep warm.

To prepare sauce, discard all but 2 tablespoons of fat in pan. Add onion and endives. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons flour to vegetables; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add beer and broth; heat to quick boil, scraping up all brown bits from bottom of pan.

Reduce heat to simmer; return meatballs to pan, placing them on top of vegetables. Simmer, partly covered, until meat is cooked through, 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


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