The star of Meatballs (and some other memorable films) turns 60 today. In his honor, try Emeril Lagasse’s Garlic Gladiator Meatballs. Each meatball has a clove of garlic tucked in the middle. These can be made ahead of time and reheated. (Gladiator Russell Crowe’s birthday is April 7 so feel free to dust this recipe off again then.)
1/2 pound of ground veal
1/2 pound of ground beef chuck
1/2 pound of ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions or
Scallions (green part only)
1 large egg
1/4 cup fine dried breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 tablespoon cayenne
16 small cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
One 12-ounce bottle amber beer
1 cup water
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats, chopped yellow onion, chopped garlic, green onions, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne. Mix well with your hands and form into 16 meatballs. Insert a garlic clove in the center of each meatball and pinch the meat around it.
Combine the flour and Creole seasoning in a shallow plate. Roll the meatballs evenly in the flour mixture, tapping off any excess. Reserve any remaining flour.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown evenly, using a spoon to turn them. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
With a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Stir in the reserved seasoned flour. Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes to make a dark brown roux.
Add the sliced onions and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the beer and water and mix well.
Bring to a boil and return the meatballs to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, until the gravy is thick, turning and basting the meatballs with the pan gravy about every 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and skim off any fat that has risen to the surface.
Serve with toothpicks or on a hoagie roll for a memorable meatball sandwich.