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How to Make a Better Meatball Slideshow

How to Make a Better Meatball Slideshow


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As Lomonaco points out in his polpettini recipe, it’s a blend of beef, pork, and veal. This is a standard tradition in the art of making meatballs, and it’s not just done for fun — use all beef and the meatball will be too tough. Lightening up the blend with a light meat, says Lomonaco, will give you a soft, fork-tender meatball that would be impossible not to love.

It’s All in the Meat

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

As Lomonaco points out in his polpettini recipe, it’s a blend of beef, pork, and veal. Lightening up the blend with a light meat, says Lomonaco, will give you a soft, fork-tender meatball that would be impossible not to love.

Keep It Fresh

Thinkstock/Hemera

While meat is the starting point of your meatball, binding ingredients such as freshly grated cheese, eggs, and breadcrumbs are important as well. Cheese and eggs are pretty hard to screw up (but always remember to use freshly grated cheese!), but Lomonaco warned us about the breadcrumbs. They have to be fresh, even if they’re from a loaf of Wonder Bread, because dried breadcrumbs will make your meatball too dense. While breadcrumbs are not usually added for flavoring reasons, Lomonaco doesn’t shy away from experimenting with different flavors of bread to get a different taste in his meatball.

Giorgio’s Meatballs

This meatball recipe comes from Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen, and it was passed down from his father, who taught him how to make them at a very young age. When Ferraro joined the team at Delicatessen in 2008, he invited his father into the restaurant to give a lesson to the entire kitchen staff for how to perfect this sacred family recipe. When Ferraro makes meatballs, he soaks his breadcrumbs in a stock instead of milk.

Click here to see the recipe.

Wet Your Hands

Wet your hands whenever you’re forming your meatballs, says Lomonaco. This allows you to handle the meatballs easily enough to shape them without overworking the meat.

Tsoutsoukaki

Or, homemade meatballs with roasted garlic, olives, and tomato sauce. Created by chef Michael Psilakis, these are a Greek take on the standard Italian dish. These meatballs were awarded the Best Meatball of 2007 by both The New York Times and New York Magazine. Although time-consuming, they’re worth it, and are a great way to experiment with the flavors of a meatball. Psilakis tells us that if you want to make these balls the night before, follow the recipe through cooking them, then cool and reserve in the refrigerator. Before serving, warm them through in a 325-degree oven, stirring gently so you don’t break up the meatballs, and follow through to the last step to finish them.

Click here to see the recipe.

Method Number One: Frying

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There are a couple of different ways you can make your meatballs, and Lomonaco doesn’t frown upon any of them. One of the most classic ways is to fry them, but by shallow-frying, as he describes it. Lomonaco advises to always have enough oil in the pan so that the meatballs are submerged, but not too much so that it’s like you’re deep-frying them. It’s also important to remember to turn your meatballs constantly so that they brown evenly, and that they’ll take longer than you think they will to cook all the way through.

Morello’s Meatballs

The secret to chef Kevin Garcia’s meatballs at his restaurant Morello is thick, decadent brioche bread used as breadcrumbs. Garcia believes in an 80/20 ratio of meat to fat, and warns not to overwork your meat mixture. By overworking it, you force out the air and create a dense meatball. He also likes to make his a day advance and let them sit in the sauce before he serves them.

"Although not scientifically proven, meatballs usually taste better the next day, [because] they have time to absorb the flavor of the tomato braise," he tells us.

Click here to see the recipe.

Method Number Two: Baking

Another ways to cook your meatballs is in the oven. Lomonaco says to wet your hands with olive oil, instead of water, while shaping the meatballs if you choose the oven, and to make sure they’re evenly spaced out on the baking sheet. Times and temperatures vary depending on the size of your meatball and the type of oven you’re using, but it’s generally around 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Sal’s Old-School Meatballs

When we asked Marc Vetri about his thoughts on meatballs, he replied, "My father instilled three things in me [growing up]: 1) Always work for yourself — no matter what; 2) Always have integrity — you are only as good as your word; 3) Always use veal, pork, and beef in meatballs. Life is really that simple!"

We’re glad Vetri follows the same mantra as Lomonaco when it comes to his meatballs. He also suggested a great make-ahead tip if you’re trying to prep in advance. Meatballs can be rolled in flour and frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet, and then stored in a freezer bag for up to two months.

Click here to see the recipe.

Method Number Three: Sauce

Thinkstock/iStockphoto

If you’re serving your meatballs with a sauce, you can also use it to simmer your meatballs. This provides a rich, well-rounded flavor to them that is harmonious with the sauce they’ll be served in.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.


How To Make Meatballs

You can really put a lot of time and effort into making meatballs. I like when a restaurant does something special with them, but if it’s my work we’re talking about, “easy to make” seems to make them taste a whole lot better.

Kristin did a version based off of Ree’s recipe, which inspired me to try a technique I remember from my childhood. But when I showed the technique I didn’t include the meatball recipe. Here it is.

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef (see note below)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
NOTE: I used 80/20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean with 20% fat. You can go leaner, but I really wouldn’t go the other direction because I cook these in the sauce and you don’t want it greasy. You can also mix beef and turkey, or pork, or pretty much whatever ground meat you want as long as the total fat content doesn’t get too high.

Directions

Lots of meatball (and meatloaf) recipes call for breadcrumbs. You’ll notice this recipe doesn’t include any. The main reason people use them – besides “that’s what the recipe said” – is that it’s supposed to keep the meatballs more tender. Maybe you’ve had some overcooked meatballs that were chewy and unappetizing, but I’ve literally never had that problem.

Bland? Sure. Burned? Yeah, I did that once. (Pro tip: Finish cooking before the Superbowl starts.) But properly cooked yet too tough because of no breadcrumbs? Just doesn’t happen.

Don’t skip this part!

So here’s the line that’s going to make reading this whole post worth it: Start by beating together everything except the meat. Garlic, onion, oregano, salt and eggs.

I’ve spent decades putting the meat in the bowl first, dumping everything on top, then working it for several minutes trying to get everything incorporated evenly. A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me to flip it around. The clouds parted, the sun shone down, and a host of angels … okay, maybe not. But it’s so much easier you wouldn’t believe it.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, then you add the meat and mix it all together.

I wanted to go with 8 balls per pound, which means 16 for 2 pounds of meat. So divide the meat in half, in half again, and again, and again.

Or you can weigh each meatball on a scale and be all picky about it.

Now roll each portion between your hands until it’s ball-shaped.

(If I have to tell you what shape “ball-shaped” is, you’re just hopeless. Put down the food and back away slowly.)

Last week when I showed cooking meatballs in sauce, I used a small pot on the stove. This time I went with the slow cooker so I could set it and forget it all day.

After nearly seven hours, the grease floating on the top confirmed that the balls were cooked.

You can soak this up with bread, like I did last time, or just stir it in.

That’s right, I didn’t strain the grease. And guess what? It tasted phenomenal.

Before serving, I cut all the balls in half so they would fit better on a meatball sandwich.



Comments:

  1. Beornwulf

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  2. Faegul

    Quite right! It seems to me an excellent idea. I agree with you.

  3. Kennelly

    My God! Well and well!

  4. Ctesippus

    I think you are not right. I'm sure. I can prove it.

  5. Tubar

    I mean, you allow the mistake. I offer to discuss it. Write to me in PM.



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