Butcher’s Nuggets (Crispy Fried Meatballs) – Food Wishes

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hello this is chef john from food wishes
calm with butchers nuggets
that’s right move over chicken because
there’s a new nugget in town and yes
this is just a fancy foodie name for
what is basically a fried multi meat
meatball which would traditionally be
made by grinding up all the leftover
trimmings from the butcher shop and yes
in case you’re wondering i did want to
call these balls instead of nuggets you
know for the alliteration but then
thought better of it but no matter what
you call these they’re incredibly
delicious and dangerously addictive so
with that let’s go ahead and get started
by mixing up something called a slurry
and that will begin with some panko
style breadcrumbs although any kind of
breadcrumb will work here and then to
that we will add some kosher salt which
looks like a lot but it’s not we have to
season a whole pound of meat here and
then we’re definitely also gonna want
some freshly ground black pepper as well
as a significant shaking of cayenne
followed by some finely minced fresh
rosemary as well as one large clove of
crushed garlic and by the way I always
like to use local ingredients when
possible but this time I’m actually
going hyperlocal
since that garlic came from my neighbor
Jocelyn and it was an heirloom variety
of hardneck garlic called music which I
really need to try to grow myself
because it is incredible but anyway
we’ll go ahead and finish this up with a
splash of milk and a dash or two of
Worcestershire sauce
that’s right I’ve known how to pronounce
that all along and what we’re gonna do
is give this a quick mix and then let it
sit down a counter for about 15 minutes
so as to give those breadcrumbs plenty
of time to hydrate before we add them to
our meat so that is looking perfect
right there and we’ll go ahead and set
that aside and move on to take a look at
our meats and what I’ll be using for my
butcher’s Nuggets is a half a pound of
ground lamb and a half a pound of ground
beef because I did buy these pre ground
they tend to sometimes be compacted and
compressed which is why I like to take
two forks and very carefully very gently
combine this all together before adding
any other ingredients and by mixing
these meats together with a couple cold
forks instead of my large hot fingers we
will hopefully avoid smearing and
overworking the meat which is gonna make
it tough and rubbery okay so by using
this technique we’re gonna end up with
something that’s much closer to freshly
and then what we’ll do once our meats
have been fairly well combined as shown
is go ahead and transfer in our slurry
and then the second verse same as the
first we will go ahead and mix in our
breadcrumb binder
using the exact same two fork technique
oh and one thing to keep in mind when
you’re mixing something like this no
matter what method you’re using we still
need to scoop and shape and bread these
which is really where the final final
mixing will occur so basically as soon
as you think that binder is fairly well
distributed we are gonna stop and
theoretically we could start making our
nuggets but we don’t want to all right
what we really want to do is wrap this
up and pop in the fridge for about an
hour or so so that it’s thoroughly
chilled before we brought it right the
colder the meat mixture the easier it is
to work with so I went ahead and wrap
that up and popped it in the fridge and
then pulled it out about 60 minutes
later at which point we can finally turn
this stuff into nuggets and by Nuggets I
mean balls and while you can if you want
just use a spoon I really like these
small scoops which makes it really easy
to portion so these are all about the
same size which of course means they’ll
all take about the same amount of time
to cook and then what we’ll do once
those are portioned let’s go ahead and
roll those in some flour
at which point we’ll shake off the
excess and transfer them into Sabine
eggs and we’re gonna want to make sure
those get tossed around and are well
coated but not with the same ham we use
for the flour okay we’re gonna use
something called the wet hand dry hand
method so one hands just gonna be for
flour and bread crumbs while the other
hand is going to be exclusively for the
eggs alright so using our non flour hand
we’ll go ahead and make sure those are
coated with egg letting the excess drip
off between our fingers before transfer
it into our bread crumbs and then
switching back to our dry hand we’ll go
ahead and coat those making sure the
entire surface is covered and we’ll also
make sure they’re kind of pressed in a
little bit and that’s it once breaded we
can transfer those onto a plate which as
you can see has been sprinkle with more
breadcrumbs and by the way fair warning
by the time you finish this both hands
are gonna be totally gunked-up but still
try to maintain that wet hand dry hand
method as long as you can and if you
have to stop half way through to wash
your hands and continue on go ahead and
by the way if you want these to have
more of a traditional nugget shape feel
free to press them down a little bit
flatter but personally I like to leave
them round
I think once deep-fried that makes for
the moistness nugget and then once we
have those all breaded if we want we
could start frying but I don’t recommend
it alright what I like to do is transfer
these into the fridge uncovered for
about an hour so that the surface dries
out a little bit and that coating really
sticks to the meat and while we’re
waiting we can go ahead and make our
secret sauce which is by far the worst
kept secret in the business since the
secret sauce served in 95 percent of the
sports bars and burger joints in America
there’s nothing more than equal parts
mayonnaise mustard and ketchup plus if
we want we can kick it up a few notches
with some spice
okay I’m using some Chipotle but you
could use some cayenne or curry powder
I mean you are FRA the Bob Ross of your
sauce but I do think a little extra kick
of something is a nice touch and really
that’s it we’ll go ahead and give that a
mix and of course a taste and our not so
secret sauce is now ready to refrigerate
until needed and then assuming our
nuggets have rested sufficiently in the
fridge we can go ahead and fry those up
which we will do in 375 degree oil for
about three to four minutes or until
just barely cook through and by the way
if you don’t have a deep fryer all you
need to do is flatten these out a little
bit so they’re more like a patty
and then just pan fry them in about a
half inch of oil for a couple minutes
per side and that really should work out
just as well although I have to admit if
you have one of these little fryers it
really does a nice job so I went ahead
and cook mine for about three and a half
minutes at which point they look like
this and we’ll go ahead and remove those
to a paper towel lined plate at which
point we really do want to let these
rest for three or four minutes first of
all they’re gonna be too hot and you’re
gonna burn your mouth and not taste
anything but we also want to give the
inside of that nugget a couple minutes
to finish cooking and for that heat in
the middle and on the surface to soar to
even out and while we’re waiting we can
go ahead and secretly sauce our plates
which I think we should garnish with
some pickled vegetables and maybe a
couple olives to sort of balance our
rich fat forward nuggets and of course
you can serve the sauce on the side as a
dip but the fern bar where I stole this
idea from serves their sauce on the
plate so that’s what I’m doing
and that’s it it’s finally time to open
mouth and insert nugget and that my
friends is just an extraordinarily
delicious bite of food okay that little
extra gaming us from the lamb I think is
what really makes you special
which reminds me for these two counters
butcher Nuggets you need to use at least
two kinds of meat okay ground pork
ground veal ground turkey we also work
beautifully in the knees as would
something like a few chicken livers oh
yeah now that would be tasty and
texturally speaking because we took
those few extra minutes to mix this with
the forks instead of swishing and
smashing it all together with our hands
inside our super crispy coating we have
something that’s beautifully moist and
very very tender okay and something
that’s not tough or rubbery at all so I
really was absolutely thrilled with how
these came out and as I mentioned
earlier these things are extremely
addictive which is why I had no problem
eating all five of these and then a few
more so you may want to make a few extra
but anyway regardless of how many you
make or how many different meats you use
or whether you call them Nuggets or
balls I really do hope you give these a
try soon so head over to food which is
calm for all the ingredient amounts of
marfa as usual and as always enjoy

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