Back in Shakespeare’s day, chefs enjoyed delighting guests with amusing culinary tricks. Here, meatballs are shaped like tiny pears. There is also an added surprise inside—each meatball is filled with a grape, which adds a great fresh taste and nice crunch. Add some ready-made canned stock and you have a simply delicious Elizabethan feast!
- 8 ounces ground veal or pork
- 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Grana Padano DOP cheese, grated
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 small green seedless grapes
- 12 sage or parsley leaves, with stems
- 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock, warm
Combine the veal, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, thyme, parsley, and salt in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Wrap each portion of meat around a grape and form a pear shape.
Preheat the broiler. Place the pears upright on a well-greased pan, and broil 4 to 5 inches from the flame for 4 minutes, or until done.
Using a toothpick, gently embed a sage leaf into the top of each pear. Place 2 “pears” in each serving bowl and gently top with the warm stock. Serve.
Recipe reprinted with permission from “Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook” by Francine Segan. Published by Random House.