Meatballs. Everybody's got a recipe, and I'll eat any of them. They are one of my favorite things, whether I'm eating them as a meal, an appetizer, or a midnight snack. I'll eat them hot out of the pan or straight out of the fridge.
Meatball recipes are like fingerprints; no two are the same and every person should have their own. This is my recipe for meatballs, and I love this recipe very much. It is a hybrid of my mother and my Nonnie's recipe and my own culinary tastes. I hope you enjoy this recipe, but I would also encourage you to make it once and then build off of it. Substitute away!
Maybe this is my Italian heritage coming out, but ALWAYS MAKE MORE MEATBALLS THAN YOU INTEND TO EAT. In fact, make more meatballs than you could eat over the course of several meals. Once you have made a mammoth amount of meatballs, you can freeze them in airtight ziploc containers BEFORE you cook the pre-formed balls or even AFTER you have cooked and cooled the meatballs. They are just as good frozen as they are fresh and they are SO easy to reheat in your microwave or in a pot of simmering sauce.
2 lbs. ground meat 1 whole large egg
-3/4 lb. ground beef or sirloin 3 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
-3/4 lb. ground pork 1 Tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
-1/2 lb. Italian sausage (sweet or spicy) pinch nutmeg
1/2 small onion (finely diced) 1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 clove garlic (minced) 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup grated parmesan 1 tsp salt
2 cups country bread (stale and cubed) 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup whole milk vegetable oil for frying
1. Sautee the onions and garlic over medium heat in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil until they are almost cooked through and just beginning to brown.
2. Soak the cubed, de-crusted, country bread in the whole milk. After a few minutes, squeeze the milk out of the bread and discard the milk.
3. With your hands (or with a spoon if you're a big baby), combine the meats, onion-garlic mixture, soaked bread, egg, herbs, and spices. Continue until the mixture is fully incorporated together.
4. Form the meatballs into balls that are roughly 2-3 Tbsp per meatball. To keep the mixture from sticking all over your hands as you form them, you can either keep your hands damp with a little bit of water or VERY lightly oil them.
5. Put enough oil in your skillet to cover the bottom and place the pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, drop about six meatballs in at a time so as to not lower the temperature of the oil too drastically. Brown ALL sides of the meatballs. Since they are small meatballs, by the time the entire outside is browned the inside meat should be fully cooked.
*If you plan on making larger meatballs, you could always cook them longer on the stove top, but to avoid burning the outside, you could always brown the outsides then transfer the pan to the oven to cook the meatballs through.
6. Allow the meatballs to cool on paper towel or, like my mother did when we were kids, on brown paper bags. Either one is great, as long as they are cooling on something that will soak up any leftover grease or oil on the outsides of the meatballs.
Check out the video, make the meatballs, and let me know how it goes or if you have any questions!