For the stock:
1 pound beef shank, bone-in, with meat on the bone
1 each, chopped: large onion, celery rib
2 to 3 carrots, chopped
2 quarts store-bought beef stock
5 cups water
For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 cup (or more) fresh grated parmesan
1/4 cup dry Italian herb breadcrumbs
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the soup:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
2/3 bag of baby carrots, cut into coins
2 quarts homemade beef stock
A little more water, if necessary
Oregano (and other herbs if you like)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked rice
1 head escarole, chopped into bite-sized pieces, simmered for 20 minutes
1. Make the stock: Simmer beef shank with onion, celery, and carrots in beef stock and water, about 2 hours, skimming the stock a few times while it cooks. Strain stock through a colander, then through a fine sieve. Reserve the meat from the beef shank; shred when cool.
2. Make the meatballs: Using your hands, mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Wet hands and roll about 25 to 30 ½-inch meatballs. Set aside or refrigerate until the soup is boiling in the next step.
3. Make the soup: In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, saute onion, celery, and carrots in a tablespoon of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add homemade stock, along with oregano and any other herbs (red pepper flakes, basil, etc.). Add shredded reserved beef shank back to the pot. Bring to a boil. Gently drop in meatballs one at a time until all the meatballs are in the pot. When they are cooked, they will rise to the surface. You will need to skim the soup while the meatballs cook, as fat from the meatballs will rise to the surface. Remove from heat.
4. Ladle soup into bowls, adding escarole and rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated parmesan and serve with crusty bread.
Per serving: 240 calories, 20 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, 8 grams fat, 58 milligrams cholesterol, 917 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.