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Old 04-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #1
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Meat Balls

My tomato sauce is simmering.
I have some ground chuck (beef).
I want to make meat balls.
I usually use the meat, bread crumbs, minced onion, minced garlic, minced bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and an egg or two.
I sometimes brown them in a fry pan or in the oven. Sometimes I drop them in raw.

How do you make your Italian style meat balls? Any suggestions to add to my list? A little wine? Water? Stock? Milk?

Do you brown your meat balls? Fry pan? Oven?

Thanks in Advance...........John
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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That's about how I make Italian meat balls too RB, but I always brown them on a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven. Makes sense to me, as they brown evenly without a stove top mess. The only time I drop raw meatballs into a liquid is for Albondgas Mexican soup, or my Greek Meatballs in Asparagus Lemon Sauce
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #3
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Here's the recipe I've been using for years. These meatballs always get rave reviews.

I puree the veggies in a mini FP. I don't like the odd chunk of onion that I missed showing up in the finished meatball.

I always brown them in a skillet before adding them to sauce. Meat gets a lot of its flavor from browning. Think steak or burgers. You don't boil them you brown them over high heat.

3 Tb Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, minced
3 Garlic, minced
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Ground Veal
½ Lb Ground Pork
1¼ C Bread Crumbs
¾ C Pecorino Romano, grated
2 Tb Italian Parsley, chopped
TT S&P
3 Eggs



Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all the ingredients including the cooled onion mixture.

Shape the mixture into balls approximately the size of a large egg. You should end up with 24 meatballs.

Brown the meatballs in the remaining olive oil. Add to Sunday Ragu to complete cooking. Deglaze the pan with some of the sauce and return it to the pot.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
That's about how I make Italian meat balls too RB, but I always brown them on a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven. Makes sense to me, as they brown evenly without a stove top mess. The only time I drop raw meatballs into a liquid is for Albondgas Mexican soup, or my Greek Meatballs in Asparagus Lemon Sauce
Yep, less mess. But I don't get as good a brown on them in the oven, unless I turn them. How high do you bake them off at?

I was also interested in the liquid addition. Like the solution used in sausages? My mother put milk. I have even used a little ketchup before. I like moist meat balls. So, it seems I need something?

Some chefs add wine, but wine can take over, if care is not exercised. There is wine in the sauce though. Very little. Just enough to deglaze with.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Here's the recipe I've been using for years. These meatballs always get rave reviews.

I puree the veggies in a mini FP. I don't like the odd chunk of onion that I missed showing up in the finished meatball.

I always brown them in a skillet before adding them to sauce. Meat gets a lot of its flavor from browning. Think steak or burgers. You don't boil them you brown them over high heat.

3 Tb Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, minced
3 Garlic, minced
1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Lb Ground Veal
½ Lb Ground Pork
1¼ C Bread Crumbs
¾ C Pecorino Romano, grated
2 Tb Italian Parsley, chopped
TT S&P
3 Eggs



Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all the ingredients including the cooled onion mixture.

Shape the mixture into balls approximately the size of a large egg. You should end up with 24 meatballs.

Brown the meatballs in the remaining olive oil. Add to Sunday Ragu to complete cooking. Deglaze the pan with some of the sauce and return it to the pot.
Thanks Andy. Looks like the frying pan will get used yet once again today!

I actually like the little pieces of veggie in the meat balls. But I do mince it very well. Very well. In Poppie's voice I say "very well, very well".
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
...I was also interested in the liquid addition. Like the solution used in sausages? My mother put milk. I have even used a little ketchup before. I like moist meat balls. So, it seems I need something?...
Some recipes may need a liquid to maintain moisture. I don't think it has to be a requirement. I think the 3 eggs and pureed veggies in my recipe serve to provide moisture.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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I bake them at 450 degrees for just a few minutes and they get nice and brown for me without the danger of them falling apart while turning them in a skillet.

Personally, I wouldn't add any more liquid (the egg is liquid) to the mixture lest they don't hold together.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I bake them at 450 degrees for just a few minutes and they get nice and brown for me without the danger of them falling apart while turning them in a skillet.

Personally, I wouldn't add any more liquid (the egg is liquid) to the mixture lest they don't hold together.
+1. I just made Greek meatballs for a potluck dinner meeting on Tuesday. I bake them at 400°F for 20 minutes and they're nice and brown. I've been doing it this way for at least 10 years. I hate the splatter from browning them in a pan.

I only used egg for liquid, too. I used 85% ground beef, so there was plenty of moisture.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:08 PM   #9
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Thanks guys and girls for the suggestions.

Lets see, frying pan vs cookie sheet. So many decisions in life!
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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2 tablespoons olive oil - for frying
2 1/2 pounds ground beef- 80/20 or 85/15
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage-casing removed
1 onion-finely chopped
3 cloves garlic-minced
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
good size pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread-torn into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs-lightly beaten
grated Parmesan cheese -- large handful
parsley, chopped, good palmful


I fry them. These could easily be baked. I like to drop them in a pot of sauce while they are still hot. I think they absorb the tomato sauce better this way. (It's a theory.) I Usually divide into 3 - 4 meal size freezer bags and I prefer the just cooked ones better.
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