Beef and Mushroom Meatballs Bordelaise

Named after the Bordeaux region of France, Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce made with dry red wine, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace. This haute cuisine sauce makes simple meatballs elegant and delicious.

Ingredients

  • ¼ inch cubed fresh bread, press down lightly (about 3 slices, crust trimmed)  ·  1 ¼  cups 
  • bacon, cut into ¼ inch strips  ·  4 ounces 
  • Flour  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Tomato paste  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Cabernet Sauvignon red wine  ·  1 cup 
  • finely chopped sweet onion  ·  ½ cup 
  • large egg  ·  1 
  • minced red onion  ·  ½  cup 
  • Lean ground beef  ·  1 pound 
  • Beef Stock  ·  2 ½  cups 
  • large shallots, peel and coarsely chop  ·  2 
  • thyme, finely chopped  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • parsley, finely chopped  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • large cloves of garlic, finely minced or grated  ·  2 
  • Pepper, fresh ground  ·  ¼ teaspoon 
  • Salt  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Butter  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Olive Oil  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • crimini mushrooms, clean and coarsely chop  ·  ¼ pound 
  • shiitake mushrooms, clean and coarsely chop  ·  ½ pound 

Instructions

Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce named after the Bordeaux region of France made with dry red wine, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace. This haute cuisine sauce makes simple meatballs elegant and delicious. 

Place the shallots in a food processor and pulse till chopped. Add all the mushrooms and pulse until the mushrooms are very finely chopped. Heat the butter and olive oil in a 10 inch non-stick skillet and when hot add the contents of the food processor. 

Sauté on medium to low heat for 3 minutes and add the salt, pepper and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes more or until the liquid has evaporated and you are left with about 1 cup of mushroom mixture.  

Now add the parsley and thyme and cook one minute more.  Take the pan off the heat and let cool and reserve.   Place the bread cubes in a bowl and sprinkle 2 Tbsp of beef stock over them (the rest of the stock is for the sauce.) Toss with your hands working the stock into the bread, let sit for 5 minutes. 

Squeeze out the excess stock, if there is any, and put the bread in a bowl with the beef, red onion, egg and reserved mushrooms and combine thoroughly. Shape into 1inch balls.  

Heat the bacon in a 10” non-stick skillet over medium high heat and cook until the bacon is just brown. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and reserve.   Remove all but 2 Tbsp of bacon fat from the skillet and add the meatballs in 2 batches and cook on medium heat, gently turning, to brown all sides. Don’t overcook; you will be simmering them for another 10 minutes in the sauce. Do not let the skillet burn. Take the skillet off the heat and remove the meatballs to a 3” deep saucepan or casserole just big enough to hold them all in one layer. Leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. If there is excess, remove it with a spoon and discard, be careful not to discard any brown bits.   Put the skillet back on the heat; add the sweet onion and sauté over medium heat for a few minutes.  Add the wine and cook till reduced to ½ cup. Add 2 cups of the beef stock and the tomato paste, stirring well, and cook till the liquid in the skillet is reduced to 2 cups.  Add the flour to the remaining cold stock (about 3 Tbsp stock) and stirring well with a whisk, dissolve the flour, then add to the sauce whisking briskly. Add the reserved bacon.  Simmer for a few minutes till slightly thickened and pour all of  the sauce over the meatballs. 

Cover and cook at a very low simmer for 5 minutes, turn the meatballs over in the sauce and cook 5 minutes more. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper and serve immediately or take off the lid, cool completely and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in small plastic containers one layer deep and covered with sauce. Re-heat gently and serve hot.  

Yields 4 dozen-1 inch meatballs  Serve with Williamson Inspire Cabernet

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