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I find it faintly irritating when cookery writers precede recipes with a story about how they first encountered such and such a dish in a tiny restaurant in some remote village in Tuscany that no one had before or has since visited, but it would be naughty of me not to acknowledge the provenance of this recipe. I first encountered this dish in a remote village in Tuscany at a restaurant run by a singing butcher called Dario. He called it ramerino in culo, ramerino being Tuscan for rosemary, and culo being Italian for rump, and… well, you can work out the rest.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 300g/10½oz good beef rump
- salt and pepper
- 6 sprigs of rosemary, halved
- olive oil
- sea salt, to serve
- Chop the meat finely or pulse it in a blender, though be careful not to over-blend it – you’re looking for a coarser consistency than mince. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Form into 12 balls. Place on a plate, flattening the bottom a little, then push a sprig of rosemary into each ball, pressing the meat in around it.
- Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 1–2 minutes, until the bottom is nicely caramelized but the top is still raw.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Pairing suggestion: Martell Cordon Bleu or XO