Meatballs

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Happy National Meatball Day! To celebrate, I thought I would share one of my favorite Meatball Recipes.

Is there anything more versatile than a nice, savory meatball? Covered in marinara sauce, cooked in bbq, cream sauce, or even on their own, meatballs make for a great base to build from for any occasion. 

As a child, and still to this day, I judge sandwich shops on the quality of their meatball sandwich. It’s a simple sandwich on it’s face, but it can really tell you a lot about the shops range, from creativity in toppings, to quality of meat and sauce. It’s important that they remain juicy on the inside, while developing a good crust on the outside for bite, and to hold everything together.

This recipe uses a combination of beef and pork, I like to add in lamb or veal usually, but those were a bit out of my price range this morning, and I already had the ground beef in the fridge. It is a bit savory, and does lean towards an Italian flavor profile, but it’s a great base for sandwiches, or to just soak up some sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef (80/20 or close)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, split up
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • tbsp smoked paprika
  • tsp dried basil
  • tsp dried oregano
  • tsp cayenne pepper (or more too taste)
  • tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 fried onions(optional)

Steps

meatballprep

  1. Put everything into a bowl. You can layer if you want, I prefer to just put everything into the bowl at once, making sure to keep 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs seperate.
  2. Mix by hand until combined. This can be tricky, because you don’t want to overmix your meat; that helps make it tough. I tend to knead everything together, until it just sticks together like bread dough.

    meatballmixed

    Mixed meatballs

  3. Weigh them out. Using a scale to weigh out your meatballs just helps uniformity. I went with 2 ounces this time, which is about 2 inches once rolled, but I usually go smaller “Swedish” style at 3/4 to 1 ounce.
  4. Once you have all the meat weighed out, now you can roll them into balls. Just lightly roll between gloved hands into a ball shape.

    meatballweighed

    Weighed, not rolled

  5. Roll the balls again, this time in the leftover breadcrumbs. You want a light coating all the way around. This will help with browning and developing a nice crust on the outside.
  6. Place the coated meatballs into mini muffin pans. I went every other one because these were large, but you can get away with every one for smaller meatballs

    rolledcloseup

    Ready for baking

  7. Cook at 400F for 20 minutes. I still put a cookie sheet on the rack beneath to catch any drippings. There is surprisingly little overflow, but I’d rather clean a cookie sheet than my oven.
  8. When the timer goes off, move to a rack to cool, or serve immediately.
  9. They’re done! Eat them as is, or sauce them to your mood.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 15 2 ounce meatballs, obviously more if you go smaller.
  • Even cold, as they are, they make a delicious snack or sandwich.
  • For parties, I do like to make them much smaller, this allows for BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, and other recipes, all from making one mess.

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