I have never ever been able to make good meatballs! tell me everything–what kind of meat, what to add, how to cook! :o I don’t know anything and I want to make them Thursday…you have plenty of time to educate me.
I use 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 sausage.
You might go to www.allrecipes.com and try out some of the meatball recipes.
*You know, it took me a while to get down a good recipe…but I use part ground chicken, beef (a lean beef) and ground veal. I don’t make meatballs that much anymore, trying to lessen our meat intake, in general…but if we do…that’s the blend I use.
I then use some tomato paste, or some sauce I’m making on the stove, and put maybe 1/4 cup in the meat, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 or 2 organic eggs, (use organic it makes a difference), sea salt, pepper, a few teaspoons of parm cheese, and some oregano. I like to make them on the smaller side, and then I bake them, I don’t fry them. When they are through baking, I take half of them, and drop them into the sauce I’m making on the stove, and let some of them mush into the sauce, and pour that over pasta. Yum…:)*
Okay, off the top of my head, here is what I do.
I do not have strict measurements, I sort of go by feel.
A pound of ground beef.
Somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup of bread crumbs.
1 egg. If the meat is more than 90% lean or you used a closer to a full cup of bread crumbs, use 2 eggs. (Eggs and the fat in the meat are the binding agents.)
No more than a 2 teaspoons of salt.
1/2 teaspoon or so of ground black pepper.
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
If you are making these for pasta sauce, add:
A tablespoon or so of basil.
A teaspoon or so of rosemary.
Preheat your oven to 350.
Mix together with your hands in a mixing bowl. Form into balls.
Baking time varies depending on the size of the meatball.
For 1 to 1-1/2 inch diameter, bake 12-15 minutes.
For 2 to 3 inch balls, 15-18 minutes.
Check with a meat thermometer. You want them to be at least 165 degrees. Cutone open and make sure there is no pink in the center.
At this point, you can add them to sauce, serve them or freeze them for later.
I use a mixture of 1/3 lean ground beef, 1/3 ground pork, and 1/3 ground veal. For a pound of meat I add an egg and 2 slices of crumbled fresh bread (no crust) and mix that together. Then I season it with chopped fresh parsley, some dried oregano, garlic salt, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped fresh basil, and and about 1/4 cup or more of grated Romano cheese. Then I roll it into medium size balls and brown them on all sides (either in the oven or the frying pan) before adding them to the sauce.
However, our local Italian grocery has a meatball mix that tastes almost exactly like mine,with the same texture, and I have been saving myself a lot of trouble lately:D
Also, when I make stuffed peppers, I use this same mix, and add parboiled rice. Then I season up tomato sauce with Italian seasonings and pour that over them, sprinkle with Romano, before cooking them either in the crock-pot or oven.
I use the meat loaf mix from the grocery store - one third ground beef, one third ground pork, and one third ground veal.
Then I shred a couple of slices of white bread and put it in some milk to soak. I press a clove or two of garlic into this and let it sit for awhile. Then I add salt, pepper, basil, parsley, a tiny bit of oregano and a good little mound of romano cheese, an egg or two and possibly a tablespoon or two of dried bread crumbs. I use the gardening term, “amendment,” for this mess after it’s all mixed up.
Mix your meats together with your amendment, very thoroughly, so that the 3 meats are well mixed and the amendment is evenly distributed. I like to use a huge fork for this.
Make into balls and brown lightly in a little olive oil, just enough that they hold together. Then dump the entire contents of your frying pan into your sauce and cook until the meatballs are done all the way through. This can be done very happily in the crock pot all afternoon.
No, I didn’t tell you amounts. I just eyeball it, picturing the ingredients dispersed in the meat. You can do that - I know you can.
After posting what I do, I like Whatevergirl’s idea of adding a bit of the pasta sauce, or at least tomato sauce, to the meat. I also will try mixing differnt kinds of meat next time.
I will also add tat if you want to use these meatballs in some sauce which is not tomato-based, consider adding fennel seed and letting them sit for 1 hour before baking.
If all else fails, you can always buy frozen meatballs at the grocery. They are in the same section where you will find mozzarella sticks and other such “snacks.”
I’m not proud, I use them all the time.
Been there, done that…now it is Armour frozen meatballs…80 to a package. Put in casserole, pour a jar of sauce over all, nuke for 5 min. or until meatball is cooked inside.
Pasta, salad, and garlic bread. All done in 30 minutes tops!
I have an Advantium speedcook oven, so I do the meatballs in there and they get brown and slightly crunchy… YUM… in 4 min 30 sec.
Another vote here for frozen meatballs. Costco sells really tasty ones. I just toss them in a pot on the stove still frozen, dump a can of sauce over, and then simmer over medium heat for 20 or 30 minutes while I get the spaghetti ready.
For a great spaghetti and meatballs: good for a family of 4
- Use ground sirloin with only 15 - 20% fat - 1.5 lbs.
- Dice about 10 sections of garlic ( yes, lots of garlic)
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
Mix all of the above. Take 2 spoonfuls of ground beef and form it into a ball. Shape it
VERY lightly ( this is a secret) between the palms of your hands.
Brown each meatball in a pot, turning each to brown.
Pour your tomato sauce over the meatballs in low fire, then simmer for about 45 min.
** Tomato sauce - find canned tomato sauce withOUT any sugar. 2 - 16 oz cans should be added to the meatballs. Or, stew a couple of dozens of fresh tomatoes for an hour, then add a small can of tomato paste at the end to thicken the sauce.
This is from my Italian mother-in-law. (Grazie, Mama!)
Here’s my attempt. I use white bread soaked in milk in addition to bread crumbs because I find that using only bread crumbs dries the meatballs out too much. I make mine about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
2 lbs hamburger
1 lb pork sausage (I like the Jimmy Dean sage the best, but you can use any kind)
1 med-large onion diced very fine
2 lg eggs
6 slices of white bread with crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp oregano
Basil - 1tbsp dried, or about 2 tbsps fresh basil chopped if possible
1/2 cup or so of breadcrumbs. IF you use seasoned breadcrumbs, you can cut the basil and oregano down a bit.
Saute the onions over medium-high heat until mostly brown and soft. About 6 min. Let cool.
In a shallow dish, break the bread into chunks and pour in the milk. Let them soak while the meat is prepared.
In a large mixing bowl, add the two meats and mix roughly with your hands. When mixed, add the eggs, spices, and onions. Gently squeeze the milk out of the bread pieces and add them. Cover the whole top with the bread crumbs. Then mix the whole thing again with your hands until it is thoroughly mixed. Add additional bread crumbs if you need to, but not too much. It should be slightly wet.
Roll out the balls, set the oven on 350°F, and brown the outsides in a skillet over med heat. You’re just giving them color, not cooking them through. Once the outsides are browned, move them to a cookie sheet and into the 350° oven for about 25 minutes.
I don’t make meatballs, I make meat brownies, much faster and neater
I just mix up the basic meatball recipe (it is actually almost the same as meatloaf), there are some good ones up above.
I spray a baking pan with sides with pam, and pat the meat mixture evenly in the pan. then with a knife or just my finger I score it as you would brownies or bar cookies (before I cook it). the squares should be as wide as the meat is thick so you end up with meat cubes. I mean I run my finger through the meat so each row is separate from the row next to it, then across.
then I bake it at 350 or 325, for half an hour or so, just so the cubes are solid and brown without being hard. drain off the fat if there is a lot, and just break the cubes apart, you can then put them in your sauce, or freeze them in a freezer bag to use later, they thaw in the microwave in a minute or two if you put a few on a plate.
spread them out in the freezer bag so they don’t touch, when they are frozen, squeeze the air out of the bag and reseal.
Here is my grandma’s recipe. She was a champion pasta & sauce maker, believe me.
1 lb. ground beef (or 1/2 beef, 1/2 pork is also good)
1 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. milk
Fresh flat leaf parsley (about 2 tbsp. or so)—optional, but REALLY good if you have it!
Mix all together lightly. Heat in large saucepot 1 28 oz. jar Ragu (the plain stuff) and 1 (1 lb) can crushed tomatoes. Rinse out both can & jar with water (about 1 1/2 c. water or so). Add some black pepper, a few shakes Parmesan, & a pinch of basil leaves. Bring to a boil. Make meatballs and throw them into the simmering sauce (yes, raw) and allow to cook on low heat for about 1 hr. or more. These meatballs are so moist & tender without browning first. Many Italian women make them this way. For your sauce to be even tastier, throw in a few pieces of Italian sausage (but you must brown that first). Yum.
I have made meatloaf like this…tastes just as good.
Oh My! You ladies are so good! I’m going to have to print off this thread!!!
I was going to go with frozen, but I really thought I’d enjoy the challenge!
LOVE garlic. I will definately have to try this one!
make a sauce
1 can tomato soup
worchester sauce - 2 or 3 glug-glugs
onion choped up very small and cook it in olive oil before going into the sauce
water to make it like a sauce and not a can of soup
(i microwave this all together until it boils)
1 lb burger
bread crumbs - i dump it in until i like but maybe 1/2 cup
1/2 of the sauce
sometimes i add thyme rosmary basil or that italian season in a shaker
make meatballs - i like a cookie dough scoop thing - just the right size
cook them in a pan with olive oil
serve them with the sauce that is left
i like these with potatoes - the sauce is good on those
use spaghetti sauce instead of a sauce you make
after cooking the meat put the meat in more spaghetti sauce
eat with pasta and grate some cheese over it
Hey! Not everyone that makes meatballs is Italian and not every meatball is Italian. I grew up eating (and still do) Finnish Meatballs made by my mom and both of my grandmothers. I have made literally thousands over the years…they make a good appetizer. They are not eaten with a tomato sauce but either a white creamy sauce or like a meat main dish with potatoes (mashed, baked) which those of us born and raised here might use ketchup. My recipe is from memory…
1 lb. gr. beef (lean)
1 small onion grated fine
1 potato grated fine
1 slice of fresh bread, either torn into tiny pieces or run through the grater
1 tbs. milk
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together. Drop by heaping teaspoons (or roll into balls) onto a hot frying pan or electric skillet (lightly oiled or pammed) brown both sides. Add about 1/2 cup water and put the top on the pan. Turn the heat to medium. Allow to steam until the water is gone. The meatballs will be tender and moist.
For parties I have drowned these meatballs in everything from the traditional sauce to sweet and sour sauce or my son’s favorite ketchup!