Saturday, May 14, 2011

Are all Meatballs created equally?


I received a request from Priscilla of She's Cookin for my meatball recipe; I told her I've been making them for so long but don't have a written recipe.  I'm sure you have those recipes too, that you make from memory.  The meatball recipe I like to use I learned from my Mom.

Meatballs were a treat for us; we didn't have them every time we had spaghetti.  My mom was very resourceful with her food budget; yet she managed to keep us all well fed on a small budget.  As true as it is today, meat was one of the biggest expenses of her food budget; she always had to watch what she threw in the cart.  

I've read many recipes over the years and all of them call for three different kinds of ground meat.  My mom would have never blown her budget buying all those different meats; she always used just ground beef.  So that is how I still make them today.  

Last time I made meatballs, I made them for 20 of us.  All I had to do was multiply the ingredients, brown them all up in a skillet and finish cooking them in a Crockpot filled with marinara sauce.  



Mom's Meatballs
2 slices sourdough or white bread
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef 
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2-3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1.  Tear the bread into little pieces and place in the bottom of your bowl, pour milk over the top and let it soften for a minute.  Most recipes call for bread crumbs; I personally think that makes for drier meatballs. Also I don't like to go below 15% on the ground beef otherwise your meatballs will be a little more on the dry side.

2.  Add ground beef, egg, garlic, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix with your hands until well combined.

3.  Heat a skillet on medium heat.  Shape the balls into large golf ball sized balls; I usually get 10 - 12.  One important thing here is to be gentle with the meat, you don't have to man handle it and compact the meatballs. The looser they are the more tender they are going to be.

4.  Add a couple of tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil to your skillet and add meatballs.


5.  Brown the meatballs and keep turning them until a brown crust forms all the way around the meatballs.

6.  Once all the meatballs are browned, I cover them with a quart of marinara sauce.  Put a lid on the skillet and turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  


I've seen lot's of recipes where the meatballs are baked,  I think the meatballs are tenderer with the frying method, that brown crust on the outside really insulates the tender meat on the inside.


I think this meatball speaks for itself, see the wonderful soft interior.  Bathed in marinara sauce, all they need is another dusting of parmesan cheese and its meatball heaven.

I would have posted this for you yesterday, but apparently there was some Blogger outage.  Lucky for me I was too busy enjoying lunch at Wayfare Tavern with Patty - Patty's Food to worry about it.

Enjoy,

Gina

34 comments:

  1. This looks so lovely and delicious Gina. I would love to make this too for my family. Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Hey Gina, this is the perfect post for today, I would call this meatball weather!
    I'm glad Priscilla asked you for your recipe because it looks like a keeper to me;-)
    Again, it was so good to meet you and I look forward to seeing you soon;-)
    Ps, thanks for the cookies you really do live up to the name SPCookieQueen!

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  3. I love meatballs and these are very similar to my mom's. She did use a mixture of meats on occasion and added onion, but honestly, I like them better without onion....just as you made them. I agree with you about the frying method.
    Oh, how I wish I had these today! They look fabulous and your photo's are always so vivid and inviting. I defitely have a taste for these now!

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  4. Gina, I just finished lunch but I could still devour a plate of your meatballs; they look so good!
    Gina, your photos are just getting better and better making it a visual delight to visit here!

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  5. Simply delicious! Looks fabulous, Gina!! I love meatballs, and I, too, think ground beef is sufficient enough!

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  6. Thanks ladies, Lorraine, we are a no onion family too!

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  7. Perfect meatballs! I love the idea of tossing them in the crockpot and letting it do all the heavy lifting. My kind of recipe :) Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Yay! Great meatball recipe :) I've always made mine very similar to my turkey meatloaf, but after we talked I decided to change it up and use half ground beef for a "meatier" taste. They were very tasty!

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  9. these meatballs look out of this world. Next time we make meatballs, we'll use your recipe. A winner for sure.

    Thanks for finally sharing:)

    Have a great weekend!

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  10. Gina - what a perfect meatball! Glad Pricilla inquired. I learned a few years ago the trick of adding the bread and milk to give the moistness to the meatball. With our chilly and winter like weather this weekend - I might just have to make these for my hubby. He would be quite happy! Enjoy your weekend!

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  11. Your meatballs look wonderful. I love a great meatball, I am bookmarking this for future use! Thanks!

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  12. That looks delicious!! And your picture is great

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  13. My mom used to make meatballs with the meat that was remaining after preparing other meat dishes. It was and still is only ground beef. Oh family recipes. Aren't they the best ones?

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  14. That photo makes me want to begin working on some meatballs for a late dinner...YUM!

    The meatballs I make, called 'kofte', were passed down by one of my great grandmothers, and they include minced beef and pork, whole lot of onions and garlic, and some parsley...they are terrific!!

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  15. Those are some good lookin' meatballs, Gina. I love when recipes connect us to people in our lives.

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  16. My recipe is similar. I think. Because I also go on automatic (and probably change it a wee bit each time). Yours welcome all to the table and no one can resist those - no one!

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  17. No, not all meatballs are created equal. Most don't make my mouth water at 11pm. This, however do. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us, Gina. It's gorgeous.

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  18. They are definitely not created equal. There is just something about a good meatball that embodies, comfort, family,and taste in each one. I think a good meatball is one in which you can taste the love, and yours look like they are filled with it. I agree with The Mom Chef, my mouth is watering too.

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  19. I found the fried vs. baked interesting. These look like the perfect meatball recipe.

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  20. Those meatballs look absolutely perfect! I also favor frying over baking when it comes to meatballs... Yours look like they are chock-full of flavor & cooked perfectly!:) Thanks for sharing... I am craving this right now!

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  21. These look so good and lovely presentation. Perfect for Sunday dinner!

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  22. So wonderful, Gina! And, as usual, your photos are spectacular. With all the rain we're expecting this week, a dinner of meatballs and sauce may be in our future! Thanks!

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  23. Comfort food at it's best!!! Those look almost identical to my mom's meatballs. Wish I had some right now because it's 5:30 on Sunday and I'm still at the office and have NO great ideas for dinner...

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  24. Gina, that's darn good looking meatball dish! Gosh..how did you do that? My mouth waters..

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  25. These look positively lovely! MY boys LOVE meatballs...really...LOVE them. haha. So happy to know your blog now. I'll definitely be looking forward to future posts. Thanks for the linkage directing me here.

    I'll be commenting more soon, I'm sure. :)

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  26. An excellent meatball recipe, frying them is definitely the way to go.

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  27. Gina-You brought back a lot of fond memories in our household. If I would have to break down the recipe you just posted, this is exactly the proportions I've been using over the years, except with double the amount of the ground beef, and the eggs.
    Your meatballs with the rich sauce, and the crock pot method is superb, also a gorgeous presentation!

    Just ask Lora what did we have every Sunday when she was growing up?...she will tell you.
    You have just glorified the simple and delicious meatballs...and rightfully so:DDD

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  28. These look so amazing and moist! I've always wanted to learn to make real, authentic meatballs...so I'm saving this one for next time we make pasta.

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  29. Oh Gina when I show my hubby your meatballs he's going to want them right away. They look so perfect, love the dark browning on the outside. Honestly they are making my mouth water and I'm not such a meatball fan. Your photos are gorgeous too!

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  30. Thank you Gina; these are just what I was looking for; I have jars of my tomato sauce sitting in the freezer perfect for those meatballs.
    Rita

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  31. Oh wow look so yummy! I'd love to try your meatballs next time I cook. It looks sooo good!

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  32. I totally missed this one..One more amazing and delicious dish, and on top one of my favorites:))
    Fantastic photos!!!!

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  33. This is pretty much the way my mom made meatballs too :) How fun that you had lunch with Patty! And your last photo of that meatball is killer lady :)

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  34. This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

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