Lamb and Meatball Roasted Vegetable Stew

For Amazing images of our meal, check out our Instagram account- vinovinonline

Winter is a time for comfort food.  With the cold weather we’re more prone to go in for something that will fill us up and put us to sleep.  I’m not sure what it is about this time of year that drives us to consume this way (feel free to comment on this post if you have insights) but either way, the recipe this week is about as perfect as it gets for the winter time.  A meat and vegetable stew with two beautiful Italian wines.  Enjoy!

This week I decided on a one pot meal: lamb and veal meatball and roasted vegetable stew.

Start with the vegetables so they can roast while preparing the meatballs.  Use any vegetables you prefer, I used peppers, Brussel sprouts,  cabbage and broccoli.  Chop everything into bite sized pieces, place on baking sheets, in oven at 400 degrees or higher.  Cook until they start to turn dark, remove from oven.  

While veggies are cooking prepare the meatballs.  I used 6 lbs total, 3 each of lamb and veal chopped-meat for 12 people.  In a large bowl, mix 2 eggs, all chopped-meat, salt and herbs.  Chop up fresh sage and thyme in advance.  Use about one third in meatballs.  Using you hands rolls all the meat into balls about 1 ¼ “ in diameter.  Heat ½” of olive oil in a large steel or cast pan.  Place the meatballs in the oil, leave space between each meatball.  Turn the meatballs every few minutes until all sides are lightly browned.  Remove from oil as they are done, they should cool and firm up.

“Grab your largest stock pot or braising pot. This is where it starts to come together”

Heat it up, add a little olive oil and 2 very large sliced onions. Saute onions until they start to caramelize then add 1 pound of sliced mushrooms.  Mix well and cook for 10 mins.  Add a bottle of red wine, I used Vignetti Montepulciano D’abruzzo.  Cook until it starts to thicken, then add a liter of beef broth.  Bring to a boil, add another third of the herbs, all veggies and meatballs.  Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cover for at least an hour.  Serve stand alone in bowls or with rice.  A nice hot crusty italian bread adds perfection.  

We drank 2 red wines with this meal.  2013 Mocali Rosso di Montalcino and a 2007 Dolce D’alba. Both were decanted for 2 hours before serving.  

2014 Mocali Rosso di Montalcino

We’re really excited about the 2014 Mocali Rosso di Montalcino this week for flash wine.  This beautiful wine drinks great now after decanting but has a phenomenal aging potential for the next five to ten years down the line.  Mocali Rosso

Colored and intense, ruby red with garnet reflections, the Rosso di Montalcino has a finely intense nose with fragrant aromas of small, fresh fruits.  On the palate it is delicately dry with aromatic, long-lasting flavors.

Sustainably farmed, the Mocali estate, acquired by the Ciacci family (distant relations to Ciacci Piccolomini) in the 1950s, is a setting of natural Tuscan beauty where vineyards and olive groves alternate with oak and pine forests,  This harmony of man and nature comes through in the delicious, ripe and balanced wines produced here, available at prices that are incredibly low when compared to those of the more established producers of Montalcino.

As over half of the estate is covered by a vegetation characteristic to the hill on which Montalcino stands, the vineyards and olive groves alternate with a landscape of woodland of ilex, oak and arbutus. The soil is rendered highly mineral; salt owing to the presence of marl and limestone. Not being overly large, the Mocali estate lies under family management.