How To Make Meatballs
Meatballs – so delicious! I, like many, love a good meatball! It really doesn’t matter where it hails from. It can be a Swedish meatball or an Italian meatball. Meatballs are good food! I love a good Italian meatball – a mixture of meat and sausage simmered in sauce. Plus, as a sandwich, the meatball reigns supreme.
How To Make Meatballs – The Meat
When creating an Italian meatball, you can keep it simple ground beef makes a good meatball and the addition of sausage makes it even better. All of those sausage seasonings naturally work in a meatball that is ultimately simmered in tomato sauce. There is more seasoning to be added, but the sausage comes with lots of flavors that should be enhanced. The addition of more fennel seed, powdered garlic, powdered onion and chili flake do the job nicely. Of course, salt and pepper, too.
How To Make Meatballs – Moisture Making
The mixing of the ingredients for a meatball is very easy – meat, seasoning, cheese, etc. There really is nothing exotic in a meatball. The challenge is how to make meatballs moist. Nobody likes a dry meatball. I like to bake my meatballs and then simmer them, so having the meatballs retain moisture is important. I like to do this with a panade. A panade is a mixture of milk (or cream) and bread crumbs. The crumbs are soaked with milk until fully…soaked. Most any bread crumb will do. I think panko is still the going breadcrumb rage and those will work. For ease, you can even try breadcrumbs that are already seasoned! The addition of the panade definitely moistens the meatballs and keeps them nice and tender. Further to the panade, the addition of egg yolks helps with this, too.
How To Make Meatballs – The Cheese
It turns out that meatballs are good vehicles for cheese! Every meatball is helped with umami flavors and the best way to get umami into a meatball is with the use of parmesan cheese. The recipe below calls for ¾ cup of cheese, but I think a bit more can be added.
How To Make Meatballs – The Cooking
Rolling a bunch of meatballs is not that difficult. Cooking them isn’t difficult either. You can cook the meatballs in a pan then simmer then in tomato sauce, but I think that can get a little messy. I prefer to bake the meatballs, then simmer them in sauce. It does not take that much more time and it does feel easier. It is worth noting that the meatballs can be frozen before cooking, before simmering or after cooking and simmering. They are nice to have in the freezer just in case the meatball grinder (or do you prefer hoagie?) craving hits! It hits a lot here.
The ‘How To Make Meatballs’ video is below. The full recipe follows.
- 3/4 cup panko
- 1 cup milk
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- Pinch of chili flake - to taste
- 6 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Chop the garlic finely.
- In a medium bowl, mix the milk and bread crumbs. Let soak for 10-15 minutes.
- When the bread crumbs are full moistened, add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix them together with clean hands.
- Roll the mixture into 2 ounce meatballs.
- Transfer the meatballs to a baking tray sprayed with non stick spray. Bake the meatballs 25 - 35 minutes or until cooked through. An instant read thermometer should read at least read 160F.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer in a medium pot.
- Place the cooked meatballs into the sauce.
- Simmer the meatballs 20-30 minutes to bring the flavors together.
- Serve hot.
- These meatballs are great with spaghetti, on a roll, or as a pizza topping.
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