From the Kitchen of Chef Ian Rynecki at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards


¾ cup Panko bread crumbs

1 cup milk

1 ¼ pounds ground beef

5 ounces ground pork fat

½ cup ricotta, drained

⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup parsley, packed, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoon chili peppers

1 teaspoon toasted caraway seed

1 ½ tablespoons toasted fennel seed, ground

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce

½ bunch rainbow swiss chard


Braising Sauce

2 cans (15 ounces) crushed San Marzano tomato

1 head fennel, minced

½ yellow onion, minced

1 carrot, minced

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper



For the Sauce

Begin by preparing the sauce; sauté the fennel, onion, and carrot in the olive oil over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, slowly braising the vegetables. Add both cans of tomatoes and continue to simmer on low for3 0 minutes. Taste your sauce and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.

For the Meatballs

Mix together the milk and panko, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Afterwards, pull out the panko and squeeze, discarding the extra milk. Set panko off to the side.

In a metal bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together gently; overmixed meatballs will create a denser final product. Grill the meatballs over high heat for 30 seconds on each side and lay into a baking dish. Cover the meatballs with the prepared braising sauce and cook covered in a 350-degree oven until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees.

When serving, tear pieces of swiss chard into the baking dish and let the residual heat cook them

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