Making Perfect Meatballs and a Recipe Review

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I posted about this meatball recipe a few weeks ago.

But I feel a great need to again convey to you how much you need to make this recipe.

Plus I did’t post my ingredient adjustments.

So today let’s talk meatballs.

Meatballs are the closet thing to meat loaf that I will ever eat.

These meatballs blow meatloaf out of the water.

Meat in loaf form= yuck

Now that we have established my feelings on meatloaf we can move on.

Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food in my opinion.

And I think everyone should know how to make a good one.

Here are a couple helpful tips I have gleaned in my meatball-making experiences.

#1. Brown your meatballs (whether in a skillet or in the oven)before you add them to your pasta sauce, otherwise you will have poached meat (gross).

#2. Don’t pack the meat balls. In order to have tender meatballs you need to keep the balls pretty loose.

#3. Use sausage in place of the ground pork. 

#4. Always refrigerate the meatballs prior to frying them. The chilled meatball holds its shape better. 

Okay, on to the recipe:

Italian Meatballs (printer friendly version Italian Meatballs)

adapted from Tim Allen’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

serves 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casing (breakfast sausage would also work)
  • 1/2 cup grated or shaved Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock, preferable homemade or low-sodium store bought
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for forming meatballs
  • fresh basil for garnishing

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, using your hands mix together the beef, sausage, Parmesan, parsley, breadcrumbs, stock, salt, cayenne, eggs, garlic and onions until evenly combined. Be careful not to overwork the mixture; you don’t want to compact the meat too much or the meatballs will be tough. Put a little oil on your hands and form loosely into golf ball size meatballs.

Place the meatballs on a greased cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (can be stored in the frig up to 2 days or in the freezer for a month).

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Gently add the meatballs and brown thoroughly on two sides; this will take about 5-10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate, and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them in the sauce of your choice.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Serve immediately with pasta and garnished with Parmesan and chopped basil.

Variation #1: These are great used as meatballs for subs and topped with mozzarella.

Variation #2: Finish cooking these in a slow cooker with pasta sauce, on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

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4 thoughts on “Making Perfect Meatballs and a Recipe Review

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