Sunday, March 16, 2014
Irish Meatball Soup
I love corned beef with cabbage and potatoes.
My family doesn't.
Not a single one of them.
Such a pity, really.
Rather than continuing my yearly torture of a traditional St. Patrick's Day feast that only I enjoy, I have recently started a new one. I don't know if this is actually an authentic Irish anything, but it contains lamb, cabbage and potatoes. With a side of some sort of soda bread, it's Irish enough for me.
Lamb...some people aren't much into lamb. To be honest, I'm one of those people. But what I do is mix it wish some bison and wow! It's rich and delicious without being overpowering in any way. I know they're both an expensive meat...but after all, I only make it once a year. And it's worth it. Especially when everyone loves it and I'm not left eating a whole corned beef on my own. If you can't get or don't like either of the meats I use...by all means, use ground beef.
Irish Meatball Soup
8 cups chicken stock (I sometimes use turkey stock)
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek (white and light green parts) sliced
7 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 - 1/2 (depending on the size) head of cabbage, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 TB barley
Salt and pepper to taste
Bouquet bag of a sprig of parsley, a couple of sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf (you can make a bouquet bag using cheesecloth or by using a tea strainer)
2 lbs meatballs, partially cooked (recipe below)
Garnish with a nice herb butter made with melted butter with added minced parsley, chives and thyme
1 lb ground bison
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup diced onion
4 TB minced garlic
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/3 cup panko crumbs
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
To make the meatballs:
Mix together all of the ingredients and gently stir until just combined. Don't squish it around too much or you'll end up with a dense, dry meatball.
Roll about a tablespoon of the meat into 1 inch balls. In a medium-hot pan drizzled with a little oil. brown on all sides and set aside. You will do this in batches....probably 3 batches.
To make the soup:
Pour the chicken stock into a large pot. Add the vegetables and seasoning. Heat to just before a boil and reduce heat a bit, allowing it to barely bubble but not boil. Cook for about 30 minutes. Add the meatballs and continue to cook until the vegetables and meatballs are cooked through, about 15 more minutes.
Remove the bouquet bag and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Drizzle each serving with the herb butter.