7.19.2011

Meaty Balls!

Ah, meatballs. Who doesn't love meat ... balls. Or either or. Start with the meat. I use beef, some people use a combination of beef, pork and veal, or beef and veal, or beef and pork. I'm going to keep it simple with beef.

Ground Beef. Depending on how many people you want to eat your balls, start with a pound.
Fresh chopped Garlic
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder
Basil
Oregano
An egg per pound of beef
Grated Romano and Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Mozz(optional)
Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Italian Bread

Let your Italian bread sit out for a little bit so it gets stiff. Stiff is better for the balls. Break the bread apart into small chunks and sprinkle with some water. I know, I know, let it dry out then wet it but there is a method to my madness. Everyone loves my balls so I am doing something right.

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, garlic and all your spices. A good way to test how much spice to use is once you mix it all together, grab a tiny bit, mush it together and throw it in a hot frying pan to cook and then taste test it. I can't recommend you try raw meat, I've seen people do it but I don't happen to be one of those crazy people. Once you mix all your meat and spices add the bread and it is time to get the ball rolling.. well not yet. FYI, you want the meat to be seasoned, the breadcrumbs and cheese don't need it, thus why you mix the meat, bread and spices together first. It really makes a huge difference.

I know I've said I don't typically measure ingredients but this is one thing where you do need to eyeball amounts because no one wants a meatball that won't bind together. Start with about 1/3 c of grated cheese and 1/3 cup of mozz per pound of ground beef. Toss those in the bowl. Crack an egg into the mixture and sprinkle in 1/4 c of breadcrumbs. Now for the messy part. WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS. No one wants to eat your balls after your hands were.. well, wherever your hands were. Start mixing. This is my absolute least favorite part of making meatballs. Make sure to get everything mixed as well as you possibly can.

The forming of the balls.
I like my balls smaller, they cook faster and allow for a more thorough cooked meatball. No one wants a dry outside and moist center. You want these to be moist with a slight crunch on the outside. I make mine about an inch to an inch and a half wide. When forming the balls, roll in the palm of your hand and gently toss from hand to hand to form. Don't squeeze because you don't want to let all the air out or condense it so much that when you bite into it you're squirted with hot beef juice.

Cooking
I bake my balls, I know a lot of people fry them but I really don't see the point in that, it's messy and takes more of your attention than had you just popped them in the oven. I put mine down a foil lined baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. The time will vary based on the size of your balls. Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. wow, Ash! Great stuff there, i love the tip about mixing the spices first with meat not with crumbs and cheese. The only thing i have to add is that i dont use whole egg, egg yolk only as egg whites tend to make meat tough. I also dont use ground beef but always meatloaf mix but that's not detrimental really. Love that recipe, though!

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  2. Thank you! I like your idea of the egg yolk versus the whole egg. I'm going to try your tip next time. Yeah, I made it with the meatloaf mix before, veal, pork and beef.. I couldn't taste a difference so I normally don't bother unless I see it on sale.

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