Sunday, January 10, 2010

Meatballs 101

This is nothing new for you. You have been stretching your meat dollars for years now, right? By adding seasonings for taste, onions for moisture, bread for cohesion, and an egg to hold it all together? It's like meatloaf in ball form! (Except also delicious.) Betty Draper would be proud. Or at least, the mentally stable domestic equivalent of Betty in real 1960s America.

All you need is a half pound of ground meat-of-your-choice, and a couple pantry staples to make an Italian feast. Serve them over pasta, inside a hoagie bun, or atop a warm salad. They need very little else to round them out.

Standard Italian Meatballs
serves 2-3, depending on how many 'balls you like

1/2 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, etc. Skip chicken: it's too lean)
1 slice bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp finely minced onion
1 garlic clove, grated, pressed or minced
1 tsp spicy mustard
1 medium egg
healthy dose of salt and pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. (To increase tenderness, consider soaking your slice of bread in 1-2 Tbsp water or milk for 10 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. Totally optional.) Mix lightly with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated. Don't overdo it. Form into balls: I like ping-pong size.
  2. Film a large skillet with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Cook, turning often until meat is cooked through. This will vary depending on your meat, but will probably take at least 18-20 minutes. I like to leave them undisturbed for 6-8 minutes at a time to develop a nice crunchy sear. Toss them around frequently in the last few minutes of cooking to ensure even doneness. Sacrifice one ball by slicing in half to check for doneness.
  3. You're done now.

No comments:

Post a Comment