Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Italian Meatballs

When most  folks think of Italian food more often than not Spaghetti and Meat balls is what comes to mind. The star of the show is the meat ball. The perfect meat ball should be full flavor tender and yielding in texture, and still be able to stand up to extended periods of a slow simmer in a tomato sauce. This recipe comes from an aunt who married into an Italian family, Her mother in law was from a town outside of Rome and was a professional cook. She made sure that her son was properly fed by holding private cooking classes for her new daughter-in-law. I thank them both for this recipe, they have long ago gone on to the Big Kitchen in the Great Beyond. So I guess that would allow this to qualify for an Heirloom Recipe. Enjoy!

Prep time: 15 min                                Cook time: 1 hr.                     Sevres: 8


1 lb.Ground Sirloin
1/2 LB Ground Pork
3 lrg. Eggs
2 Slices of Bread(crust trimmed off and cubed)
1/3 cup Milk
1/4 cup Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley (3 tbs dried)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
2 tsp Granulated Garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
*Note: I find that the use of dried herbs and garlic an onion blend flavors better than fresh in this recipe.

Tools: Mixing bowl, Measuring cups & Spoons, Med Ice cream scoop, Baking sheet, cooking spray. Aluminum foil.


In a large mixing bowl place the cubed bread and 1/3 cup of milk allow to stand 5 min for the bread to adsorb the  milk
Add the rest of the ingredients(except for the bread crumbs)  and mix well. If egg whites are still visible add some of the bread crumbs. The mix should be wet and a little tacky but not sticky. The best tool s for this job are a pair of very clean hands, mix thoroughly but do not over mix(Don't bruise the chopped meat).

I normally remove a small amount and fry it up so I can check the flavor and make any adjustments to the seasoning. This is the time to check it.
 Line the sheet pans with Aluminum foil (makes cleanup a snap) and give each a spray with the cooking spray.
Preheat your oven to 350 º F  
Using the Ice cream scoop (it keeps the portions equal) dip out a scoop full and form into a ball and place on the baking sheet. I normally get between 16-18
 Bake at 350º F for 20 min.The meat balls will be almost done through. At this point I transfer the amount I need to a pot of basic tomato sauce to finish and add additional flavor to the sauce. After about a 15 min cool down the remainder get place in a freezer bag and frozen for another meal. At which time they can go from freezer to sauce to thaw and finish cooking.  

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