Start by choosing good artichokes. It helps to stuff them if they are already opening. I prefer to hand-pick them at a market over warehouse stores that sell them in packages.
Prepare the artichokes by cutting off the stalks so that the artichokes will stand in a pan. Also cut about 1/2" off the top to remove most of the thorns and allow stuffing into the middle of the artichoke. Then soak them in salt water for about 30 minutes. I clean my sink and then use it for soaking with Kosher salt.
Prepare the stuffing:
4 1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
2 C finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. pepper
2 T salt
1 C garlic powder
1 1/2 cans (15 oz. each) plain bread crumbs (or reduce the salt and use Italian crumbs)
Mix well in a large bowl. Divide into 12 baseball-sized meatballs.
Remove artichokes from the water and set upside down to drain. Starting on the lower leaves outside, pull leaves back gently and put a small amount (grape-sized) of stuffing on each leaf using one of the giant meatballs for each artichoke.
Work in a circle around the artichoke and up to the top. Pull back as many center leaves as possible to fill. When complete, place in 9x13" pans and cover with foil until cooking time.
Using a steamer or large crock-pots, place racks on the bottom and about 1/2" of water. Place artichokes on the racks. Spritz with olive oil and cover the pots. Frequently, drizzle the water from the bottom of the crocks over the artichokes so that they do not dry out. Continue cooking for 3-4 hours at 300-350 degrees F. Watch carefully near the end so that they do not burn.
|We all agreed. These were the best ever!|
If you have leftover stuffing, form them into meatballs and bake them at 350 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes. Serve them with marinara sauce on French rolls or with mushroom soup and mashed potatoes.