One of Atlanta’s premiere restaurateurs and a recent contestant on “Top Chef,” Ron Eyester knows a thing or two about pleasing the palate. His Morningside restaurant Rosebud is competing at this year’s Atlanta Meatball Festival, Aug. 30 in Sandy Springs, with a classic meatball that will remind you of the kind grandma used to make.
Feeling pretty confident about his restaurant’s chances of winning, Eyester has revealed the recipe he’ll use to craft meatballs for the competition, scaled down for home cooks.
Chef Ron Eyester’s Meatballs
2 yellow onions, grated
2 fennel bulbs, grated
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups grated Romano cheese
4 cups panko bread crumbs (Run through Robot Coupe)
8 egg yolks
3 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
2 lbs. Riverview Farms ground beef
2 lbs. Riverview Farms ground pork
1. Quickly sauté onion, fennel and garlic and deglaze with 1 cup white wine.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked onion, fennel, parsley, cheese, bread crumb, egg yolks, tomatoes, red pepper flake, salt, pepper, ground beef and ground pork.
3. Spread meat mixture onto sheet pan, cover with bun bag and allow mixture to chill for several hours or overnight if possible.
4. Using a black handle 2.5-oz. scoop, portion meatballs and again move to sheet pan and allow meatballs to chill in cooler.
5. Fry meatballs in fryer at 300 degrees for approximately 90 seconds, just until outside of meatball has browned.
6. Finish meatballs by braising in tomato sauce in rondo for about 2.5 hours over moderate heat.
The Atlanta Meatball Festival, produced by the same team behind Taste of Atlanta, brings out the city’s top chefs for a quirky competition. This year’s festival will feature more than 20 restaurants competing, more space to enjoy your tastes than last year and a large drinks selection. Buy your tickets in advance and arrive early for the best chance to try all the offerings.