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Tequesta restaurant shares its secret meatball recipe

Posted at 4:40 PM, Mar 09, 2018

Today is International Meatball Day so we wanted to see if a local restaurant known for it's scrumptious meatballs would give away their family secrets.  



I traveled to Evo in Tequesta and made meatballs with Chef Erik Pettersen where he shared a 40-year-old recipe.  

A worried chef says, "If my Grandmother was alive she would, literally, kill me for giving it to you right now."  

Evo Meatball Recipe

Serves 10 - 12


1 pound of ground all-natural beef
1 pound of Berkshire ground pork
1 pound of ground grass-fed veal
Three eggs
1/4 of cup 50% sweet shallots with 50% garlic puree  
Sea salt
Three handfuls of pecorino romano cheese
Two handfuls of day-old bread crumbs with a little bit of milk added
One handful of chiffonade basil
One handful of Italian parsley
Olive Oil 


1) Place meats in a mixing bowl and combine (do not add seasoning).
2) Place eggs into the mixing bowl and combine.
3) Begin seasoning.  Add sweet shallots/garlic puree, sea salt sprinkled on top, sprinkle in pecorino romano cheese, add day-old bread combination, add basil then mix.
4) If the mixture is to "loose" add two pinches of Italian Bread Crumbs, repeat if necessary.
5) Salt and Pepper to taste
6) Let stand for 5 minutes
7) Add 1/2 inch  olive oil to a pan and put in medium/medium-high heat
8) Gently place the meatballs into the pan and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side. 
9) Place in marinara sauce and cook low and slow for 1.5 - 2 hours.

Chef Erik shared his family secrets for making the best Meatballs.  

"Everybody wonders what it is.  Why is the meatball so soft, why is it so fluffy where everyone else's is so rubbery; I'm going to give you it, the whole world, day old bread."

Day old bread with a little milk and cream added.

"One of the other secrets I use sweet chalets, not onion," chef adds.

"Today we are going to make my family traditional meatballs.  That were taught to me, about 40 years ago by my grandmother passed on to my mother and now on to me as a professional chef."

After a quick quality control sniff,  chefletst me help him roll the meatballs.

"Then just go like this... a little love... like I said no cracks you don't want any holes in it.  Because when this hits the olive oil it will actually split open," advices Chef.

"Just like your skin, you don't want any cracks or holes in it it," I tease.

"That's why I look like I'm 22," says Chef.

"Right, it's the meatballs.  Do you put these on your face at night," I prod?
"Yes, I actually do a meatball mask."



Chef wears the name Nancy on the back of his chef jacket.  

"I moved to Florida to take care of my mother because she was terminally ill.  And during the time, spending the last few months with her, we talked about how we were going to move to Jupiter, and we were going to open up an Italian restaurant where I was going to cook, and she was going to be the Maitre d'.."

"So the reason I always wear Nancy on the bottom of my chef jacket is because she's always got my back."

I asked how our meatballs turn out?

Chef jokes, "Other than his cracked meatball?"

10 out of 11 meatballs were just fine

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