Ripasso is enriched by the remaining fruit from production of the luxurious Amarone wines of Valpolicella. Thus a flavoursome accompaniment required. These meatballs are zingy with the Asian flavour of fish sauce (it may sound awful but they are really good!), rich from the beef and a fresh basil leaf finish – the proof is in the pudding!
Watch the video below for a real life ‘how to’!
1 pack minced beef – or even better get a sirloin steak minced at the butcher.
3-6 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 bunch of fresh basil – nice big leaves ideally
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Sprinkle of Chinese 5 spice if you have it
Salt and pepper
A handfuls of peanuts
Tip your minced beef into a large bowl and break it up. Aside from the basil leaves, add all the ingredients and ‘mush’ with your hands, as though you were kneading in the flavours.
Even though you have the soy in the mix, I’d still add a couple of sprinkles of salt – canapés are dinky and you need flavour.
Roll the meatballs to smaller than a ping pong ball but larger than a marble. Let’s say a small Brussel sprout.
Crush your peanuts in a pestel and mortar or use a rolling pin. Dry fry them in a pan until they are slightly brown and then transfer them to a clean bowl. NB. Nuts can burn easily, so keep any eye.
Heat a few drops of oil in a frying pan – ground nut is good, or vegetable – it’s going to get quite hot so I wouldn’t use olive oil (but it’s not going to ruin it if you do). Place your meatballs in the pan (10 or so at a time so they have space to roll around and cook all over). 4-6 mins in the pan should do it.
Once they are browned and a little crispy all over, remove to rest and do the next batch. Cover the resting meatballs so they stay warm.
Now (and most importantly), wrap your meatballs in a basil leaf and skewer with a cocktail stick – or just serve the meatball on top, as we did. Finally, sprinkle over the roasted peanuts and Bob’s your uncle!
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