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.
2 slices sourdough or white bread
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
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.