Achieving wonderfully tender and juicy meatballs is all about getting the proportions right: lean meat to fat, whole-butterfat dairy to bread, and even salt. It might seem a little fussy, but weighing the key ingredients and grinding them yourself is crucial to getting perfect results. This recipe is lighter than meatballs simmered in tomato sauce—the braise was inspired by an Italian brodo, with chicken broth, white wine for acidity, and rich-tasting kale. It also hints at the Eastern Mediterranean, with a mix of coriander, cumin, and sumac, a tart, aromatic spice popular in the Middle East.
Special equipment: You’ll need a meat grinder—we used the food grinder attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer, fitted with a 1/4-inch plate.
What to buy: A prosciutto “heel” is meat from the shank end of the prosciutto, where it’s too skinny to yield pretty slices. Ask your butcher for this, or seek it out at a well-stocked Italian deli or specialty market.
Huw Thornton is a chef in Oakland, California
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