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Meatballs - The topic

ms244

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SO, I have a huge pile of ground beef from costco.

I want to make some meatballs that I can freeze and have me last for a while.

Whats your best recipe for meatballs?
 

SField

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Originally Posted by ms244
SO, I have a huge pile of ground beef from costco.

I want to make some meatballs that I can freeze and have me last for a while.

Whats your best recipe for meatballs?


I always improvise.

Works better if you let the meat rest in room temp for a bit, easier to work with and it will mix better.

If you have a lot, I'd use 2 whole eggs. Not just the whites, the yoke adds richness.

I use panko instead of breadcrumbs, I like it better and it's slightly better for you.

You definitely want to fresh basil copped, but not too finely.

Freshly grated parmesan

Very finely chop a shallot and maybe 3 cloves of garlic

Spices I'd definintely say some ground fennel seeds, a little bit of cumin, then some paprika.

Finally some salt/pepper and some olive oil.

Just a little tomato paste.


Roll them up dilligently, try to seal the surface as much as possible, make them all even. A good way to do this if you aren't too experience is to take the whole mixture you've made out of the bowl, law it on on a cutton board then with a spatula, create a cake of meat. Make it as even as possible, then divide it up into squares, then you can make the meatballs. Put it on a baking sheet with some saran over it. Put it in the fridge for an hour or so "so the flavours can make friends" - fucking jamie oliver - and then cook them however you were planning to do it.
 

romafan

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If it's not too much of a hassle, I'd add some ground pork and veal to above recipe, which looks good. I really think they make the meatball 'pop'. Maybe some chopped parsley in addition to the basil....
 

SField

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Originally Posted by romafan
If it's not too much of a hassle, I'd add some ground pork and veal to above recipe, which looks good. Maybe some chopped parsley in addition to the basil....

I've never liked parsley that much. It doesnt impart much flavour in cooking (it just becomes slime) so it's better to use it fresh to finish something or in a cold dish.
 

Dewey

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I make meatballs like meat loaf. I'd keep the flavor straightforward -- salt, pepper, cheese -- with the expectation that strange things can be done with the red sauce, if you so desire later. Yes veal and pork are good, but you can make a good meatball with just beef.

I'd soak a slice of bread in milk and add that to the meat in a bowl. Maybe two slices if I was doing three or more pounds. Mix this stuff with a carving fork. Then I'd add about one egg per pound of meat. Also some green herbs, salt, pepper however I like like. Then I'd add an onion minced up and cooked a few minutes in olive oil until they are soft. I might add bread crumbs or panko if this mix is too loose, and I would definitely add a generous supply of grated parmesan, romano, and/or pecorino. Cheese will bind them together and taste really good.

Then I get in with my hands, form little meatballs, and brown them in the cast-iron skillet in butter. They come out not so round; sometimes the browning will flatten the sides. It depends if meatballs are tight or loose. Either way, I don't think it matters. I think they taste better in a sauce if they break apart easily with a fork, so I'm all for whatever funny shapes I get. If I turn them at the right time, I can get a three or four-sided thing that will look just like a meatball when served in red sauce.

Then I'd bake them until they were cooked all the way through. Usually I bake them in red sauce, but if I was making them to freeze them, I would bake them like cookies I guess.

I'd eat them pretty quick. They are probably going to develop ice & freezer burn if left in the freezer a long time.

Meatballs are fun to practice. Another idea might be to split your mass of ground beef into square portions and freeze those. Then practice making meatballs from scratch with each batch.
 

Spatlese

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My recipe, which I don't even really want to call that because it changes each time, calls for the same basic ingredients and technique as Dewey's. I use pork, add a lot of garlic when sweating the onions and also some dried oregano.

One little tip I learned a while back is to cook off a spoon full of the raw mix first so that I can adjust the seasoning as necessary.
 

ms244

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How do you cook them?

Bake, broil, fry, braise in some kind of sauce?
 

Milhouse

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I also like using beef, pork, and veal mixed together. The others have listed good recipes.

I usually cook the meatballs by browning them in a pan, and then adding some sauce and simmering them until they are done.
 

Spatlese

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I brown them off first and finish off by simmering in a red sauce.
 

lpresq

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1lb ground beef
1lb sausage (Italian of regular)
1 clove garlic minced v. finely (or liquified)
1/2 small onion minced v. finely (or liquified)
3 tb oregano
1 bunch, finely chopped, italian parsley (Parsley is key here, use it very liberally...dont hesitate to use 2 bunches, but remove stems)
1/2 cup parmesan
1 egg
1/2 cup - 1 cup Bread Crumbs (add a bit at a time to get the right consistency)
S&P to taste

Prep Red Sauce, fry the meatballs in deep oil until brown (not quite deep fry but close).....drain and add to red sauce. Simmer for 45 min.
 

SField

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I wouldnt fry them. Not only does it make them fairly unhealthy but if you don't eat them right away they become kind of gross. Fried food does not really keep well.
 

lpresq

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Originally Posted by SField
I wouldnt fry them. Not only does it make them fairly unhealthy but if you don't eat them right away they become kind of gross. Fried food does not really keep well.

Huh....Healthy??? We are talking about meatballs, here....they are inherently not the healthiest choice of food. Also, with respect to frying, Meatballs are not exactly french fries or donuts. The idea is too flash fry to lock in the flavor, so the meatballs remain moist and add depth to the sauce. If OP wanted something healthy, wouldnt he just get tofu or turkey meatballs? Thanks for the insight, chief.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by lpresq
Huh??? Meatballs are not exactly french fries or donuts. The idea is too flash fry to lock in the flavor, so the meatballs reamin moist. If OP wanted something healthy he would just get tofu or turkey meatballs. Nevertheless, thanks for the insight, chief.

I spent a considerable amount of time in italy and little italy in 2 major cities in the united states. The best meatballs I had were not fried, and this is from a local mom and pop eatery in Cleveland's Little Italy or New York, all the way to Spiaggia in Chicago and others like it. I think they know what they're doing, but if you like fried meatballs, then go ahead. There isn't really anything unhealthy about meatballs, it's basically a lot of protein with a bit of starch, some herb/spice/aromatics and a little fat.

Your reasoning that you have to "lock in the flavor" by "flash frying" is interesting. I love this "lock in" concept, it reminds me of that "Set it and forget it" commercial.

Can you please tell me the last time someone flash fried a steak? I wonder if Eric Ripert flash fries his fish to "lock in" the flavor. When I had that incredible lamb at Savoy it must have been fried, because boy that flavor sure was locked in, deadbolted even. You really might have stumbled on something incredible. Here the rest of the world has been trying to make great tasting food by braising, searing, baking, roasting, broiling, steaming, poaching, smoking, and grilling, when all we had to do was fry everything!! My god, you're a genius. And you're right, all those $100 hamburgers all the way down to Louis Lunch in New Haven are cast into a monolithic vat of bubbling oil. I mean, only a moron would compare burgers and meatballs. They aren't similar at all.

I think I'm just going drop what I'm doing and fry everything I own, because it's just such an incredible thing to do.
 

Milhouse

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Originally Posted by SField

Can you please tell me the last time someone flash fried a steak?


From what I understand, this is common in "the country". The resulting product is called "country fried steak".
 

SField

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Originally Posted by Milhouse
From what I understand, this is common in "the country". The resulting product is called "country fried steak".

Sorry, I meant;

When was the last time someone who could read, has all their teeth, and was reproduced from a diverse gene pool flash fried a steak?

In almost every case, frying something, especially meat, is usually to cover up the lesser quality of the cut.
 

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