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Old 09-01-2006, 05:27 PM   #1
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Help needed regarding meatballs

I make meatballs with ground beef, bread soaked in milk, diced salami, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.... they come out great.... however, i am out of eggs, is there absolutely anything i can do to use as a binder other than eggs? thanks!

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Old 09-01-2006, 05:29 PM   #2
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You don't need the eggs. You're good.
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:39 AM   #3
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You can omit the eggs if you have to...but the meatball will be a bit denser, heavier.

I think meatballs were the first food I ate, but never have I had a meatball with salami in it. Don't know that I ever even heard of it. Where did you get the idea? Do you cook them in the gravy or fry them, seperately? Do you even serve them with pasta?

I love the soaked bread method, in combination with some flavoured breadcrumbs, grated cheese, chopped garlic, S&P, egg and chopped fresh parsley.

Please, I must hear more about the addition of salami....
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:45 AM   #4
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As Alex and Vera said you can just omit the egg.

My mom never used them, I always do and prefer the texture they give.

But they will be just fine.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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thanks alix, i had no choice and proceeded to make them without the eggs... they felt very different in rolling them and they were, as verablue said, denser and heavier.... after cooking they felt somewhat crumblier.... so, auntdot, i agree with you I prefer them with eggs and by the way, i only use the yolks...

verablue, i am the chef at a small italian restaurant and work with the owners who are born and raised in italy, therefore, they haven't been exposed to the "worldly" italian cuisine but rather the authentic cuisine they have enjoyed at their moms', aunts', grandmas', etc... anyways, italians will often use finely diced prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) and several different cured and smoked meats incorporated into their meatballs, which give them a different dimension to taste, the smokiness comes through and the meatballs pack more flavor.... i think the single most important element in making the meatballs unique is the addition of the bread soaked in milk as this alone makes a huge texture difference, as the bread introduces the milk rendering it moist inside and a softness as you bite into it that the meat alone could never give you.... when i make the meatballs, i fry them gently in olive oil first until browned all around yet still somewhat raw inside, then i throw them in a basic pomodoro sauce and let them cook through and absorb some sauce flavor although you can skip the browning in oil for a different result... and lastly, in answer to your question, NO I absolutely do NOT serve them with pasta - spaghetti and meatballs is an american thing (possibly an "italian-american" thing) and italians scoff at the thought of it, we serve the meatballs as an antipasto, stand alone with some of the tomato sauce on a bed of sauteed julienned strips of carrot and zucchini
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:53 PM   #6
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Yes, you dn't really get pasta with meat balls in Anglo Italian cooking either.

I cooked it as an experiment and to use up what we had in our fridge last week, and confess I quite liked it! I do however make meat balls occasionally. You can make good tight dence little bundles of just compressed seasoned meat, we eat these "Swedish style" sometimes. small, meat only meatballs also make good bite sized appetisers when something is needed to bolster traditional "dainty" fare but has to still be small, one bite creations. When I am in a rush for these I use just seasoned mince, whatever suitable herbs I have around and a squirt of ketchup. I find that while I don't find them particularly pleasant they do go down very well with other people.

I will certainly be trying your method to see if I can make something I like better
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven S
thanks alix, i had no choice and proceeded to make them without the eggs... they felt very different in rolling them and they were, as verablue said, denser and heavier.... after cooking they felt somewhat crumblier.... so, auntdot, i agree with you I prefer them with eggs and by the way, i only use the yolks...

verablue, i am the chef at a small italian restaurant and work with the owners who are born and raised in italy, therefore, they haven't been exposed to the "worldly" italian cuisine but rather the authentic cuisine they have enjoyed at their moms', aunts', grandmas', etc... anyways, italians will often use finely diced prosciutto cotto (cooked ham) and several different cured and smoked meats incorporated into their meatballs, which give them a different dimension to taste, the smokiness comes through and the meatballs pack more flavor.... i think the single most important element in making the meatballs unique is the addition of the bread soaked in milk as this alone makes a huge texture difference, as the bread introduces the milk rendering it moist inside and a softness as you bite into it that the meat alone could never give you.... when i make the meatballs, i fry them gently in olive oil first until browned all around yet still somewhat raw inside, then i throw them in a basic pomodoro sauce and let them cook through and absorb some sauce flavor although you can skip the browning in oil for a different result... and lastly, in answer to your question, NO I absolutely do NOT serve them with pasta - spaghetti and meatballs is an american thing (possibly an "italian-american" thing) and italians scoff at the thought of it, we serve the meatballs as an antipasto, stand alone with some of the tomato sauce on a bed of sauteed julienned strips of carrot and zucchini
Thank you, I appreciate your thoughtful response. As Italian Americans go, I'm as italian american as you can get, but american is the operative word. I visited Italy when I was younger and remember only being able to actually get a meatball when we were in naples.
I was raised with the pasta being served first, and the meat, whether it was meatballs, sausage, pork, braciola....served at the end, with the salad.

My preference is to lightly fry them, as well, and toss them in the gravy at the end, just to finish them off, and to not overly flavour the gravy, either. I prefer to taste the tomato in the gravy, without a meaty flavour.

We found one restaurant in South Philly that actually served the meatballs as an appetizer and they were wonderful! Personally, I find it very difficult to eat meatballs 'out' because usually, the chef just doesn't 'get it', in my opinion. Happily, it sounds as if you do, and good for you, I say.
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