Drizzled with a classic French Sauce, Sauce Bordelaise Meatballs with Crispy Shallots are a brag worthy appetizer…impressive and full of rich red wine flavor.
Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce, a derivative of a brown sauce using red wine. The sauce is named after the famous wine-growing region of Bordeaux in Southwest France. Shallots, peppercorns, thyme, bayleaf, lemon juice and beef marrow are the traditional ingredients used to make this rich beautiful sauce.
Please use a wine that is suitable for drinking to make this recipe. And how fun to use a Bordeaux to make this truly official. However, any good quality red wine will work fine. And while I’m thinking about it, while studying the wine portion of my education at Culinary School, we were introduced to a great web site. If you’re interested in learning more about wines of the world, take a look at Wine Folly.
Rich and flavorful, it only takes a small drizzle of Bordelaise to bring a simple tenderloin steak to heights of grandeur. There are recipes where the sauce is draped over ground steak “burgers,” Including a version from Julia Child. Her recipe is where I got this idea to use Bordelaise in an appetizer with meatballs.
Our monthly neighborhood wine night gathering was last week and the only rule is to bring a bottle of wine and an appetizer. Sauce Bordelaise Meatballs was my contribution.
I mixed up a batch of my Baked Italian Meatballs, minus the two Tablespoons of Italian seasoning. I didn’t want all that Italian flare to interfere with this French classic. I baked the meatballs, arranged them on my serving platter and drizzled the bordelaise sauce over. Sprinkled on some crispy shallots for an extra punch of flavor.
This recipe is a combination of two classic French recipes. One I learned in Culinary School, which uses Bone Marrow, Demi-Glace and Meat Glace. I didn’t have those ingredients, so incorporated Julia Child’s method of adding cornstarch to thicken.
Next time I’m at my local meat counter, I’ll be asking for bone marrow, but for now, here’s a version without. I’ve used butter and cornstarch to make this sauce thick and rich.
- 1 cup Red wine
- 1 Tablespoon Fine Chopped Shallots
- 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1 cup beef stock or 4 ounces veal demi glace
- 1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon water
- 2 ounces beef marrow or 2 ounces cold butter
Make a batch of Baked Italian Meatballs. Exclude the 2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning if you'd like.
Combine the red wine, shallots, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaf in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduce by half. Add beef stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix together the corn starch and water.
Add the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until nice and thick. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. If it doesn't, it needs to cook a little bit longer. Stir in the bone marrow, or butter. Heat until melted.
If using bone marrow there may be no reason to thicken with cornstarch. The collagen in the marrow will thicken the sauce.
Strain the sauce through a fine chinois.
For the crispy shallots: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a fry pan. Slice the shallots into rounds and coat them with cornstarch. Fry over medium high heat until shallots are turning crispy and browned.
Yield 1 cup
Marrow added to sauces should be cooked just long enough to heat it through. Any longer and it will melt away to nothing.
And if you’re looking for more meatball appetizer recipe ideas, take a look at these: