Cooking Up A Storm: Making prime beef meatballs with RPM Italian

Tracy Butler Image
Thursday, January 25, 2024
Cooking Up A Storm with RPM Italian
RPM Italian, a restaurant in Chicago's River North neighborhood, joined Cooking Up A Storm to make prime beef meatballs with Tracy Butler

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7 Meteorologist Tracy Butler cooked up a storm Thursday with a celebrity-backed restaurant that's become a mainstay in Chicago.

RPM Italian opened in River North in 2012.

Bill and Giuliana Rancic helped make the menu at the "Lettuce Entertain You" spot.

Chef Christopher Gawronski from RPM shared how to make prime beef meatballs.

RPM Italian Prime Beef Meatballs Recipe

Serves 4-6


- 1 cups breadcrumbs

- 5 large eggs

- 1 cup whole milk

- 1 cup pecorino romano, grated

- 1 Tbsp garlic puree

- 1 cup Italian parsley, chopped

- 1 cup Spanish onions, minced

- 1 cup + 3 Tbsp olive oil

- 1 Tbsp fine sea salt

- 1 Tbsp black pepper, freshly ground

- 2 lb ground angus beef

- 2 cups pomodoro sauce

- 2 cups tomato juice

Preparation method

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Mince the onions, Place a heavy bottom over medium heat, add cup of olive oil and sweat the onions until soft and translucent.

3. In a large bowl, add bread crumbs, eggs, onions, milk, cheese, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper; stir to combine.

4. Add the ground angus beef the the bread crumb mixture; gently combine with your hands until just combined (over mixing will toughen meatballs).

5. Scoop up about 2.25 oz meat mixture to form balls and set aside on a lined baking sheet

6. After scoping the mixture, smooth them by rolling in cupped hands. Arrange meatballs on sheet tray

7. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour

8. Once chilled, sear meatballs in a heavy bottomed skillet in olive oil until a crust has formed on all sides (about 4 minutes)

9. Place the meatballs into a baking dish and cover with the pomodoro and tomato juice.

10. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the meatballs reach 165 F.

11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of pecorino romano and serve immediately.

RPM is open daily for dinner and has a pretty good happy hour in the bar from 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays.