Meatball Marsala

An interesting twist on a Marsala dish, this recipe will surely make a comeback in our household. The initial instructions directed you to brown the meatballs under a broiler, but our broiler is often times less-than-satisfactory; plus you don’t get the advantage of having the browned bits left in the skillet which add a wonderful depth of flavor to the mushroom sauce.

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Speaking of mushrooms, we selected a mix of portobellos, creminis and shiitakes and they were fabulous! And being connoisseurs of everything mushroom, we upped the ante by incorporating a full pound as opposed to 12 ounces.

My other changes included increasing the amount of ground meat to one pound each of the beef and sweet sausage (therefore requiring a slight bump in the bread crumbs to a 1/2 cup), adding minced garlic, and reducing the chopped parsley down to 3/4 cup, (all noted below.) For those suffering from a gluten intolerance, the meatballs are easily made with GF breadcrumbs and flour.

You know I always harp on incorporating homemade broth whenever possible and I’m advocating that here too because of the tasty intensity it adds to both the mushroom sauce and the mashed potatoes. It’s quite filling, so even though your tastebuds may want a second helping, your stomach will probably have to settle for leftovers on another day—all dependent of course on the fact that there is any left!

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Meatball Marsala

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. ground beef chuck
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage meat
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 12-16 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch; season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; cook until tender, 20 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan.
  2. Combine the beef, sausage, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/2 cup chicken broth, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl; mix with your hands until combined.
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  3. Form into 18 meatballs (about 2 inches) and arrange in a large dutch oven or heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Brown on all sides for about 15 minutes, turning every 4-5 minutes. Remove to a platter.
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  4. Pour the grease out of the skillet but leave the browned bits.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened, about 8 minutes.
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  6. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to coat. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup chicken broth and return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium high and add the meatballs. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you mash the potatoes.
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  7. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup chicken broth to the potatoes and mash. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Stir the parsley into the meatball mixture. Serve with the potatoes.
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Adapted from a recipe by the Food Network Kitchen

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