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Old 05-17-2011, 02:34 AM   #1
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Crazy about spaghetti and meatballs!

Does anybody know the secret to making the juiciest melt in the mouth meatballs, the most velvety luscious sweetened tomato sauce to smother over that delicate heart clenching pasta? I am salivating right now at the thought!

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Old 05-17-2011, 05:34 AM   #2
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there are all kinds of recipes. find one you like whether it is beef or a mix of meats. THe spicing is your business too. What makes them tender is the binder. Fresh bread crumbs (make your own from leftover toasted bread) and or mashed potato make for very tender meatballs. Go easy on the eggs too. You only need one per pound of meat.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:03 AM   #3
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The best meatball recipe we ever found was from a Throwdown with Bobby Flay, where he lost, Maroni's. Kind of expensive to make due the amount of fresh herbs and cheese required (we use parmesan or romano, whatever we've got) but man are they good. Also use fresh frozen bread crumbs that we keep in freezer, not dried.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:43 AM   #4
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What I like doing now, is poaching my meatballs right in the sauce. I feel it captures and blends all of the flavours without losing anything to the frying process, which is how I used to always cook my meatballs.

I saw this old Italian lady just drop her freshly formed, raw meatballs right into a simmering sauce and thought... what the hell... why didn't I think of that? So I have been doing it ever since. I also made a video of using turkey meat too which turned out surprisingly tasty.



Poaching meatballs keeps their shape better, and keeps the outside tender and moist without any hard or scorched edges.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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What I like doing now, is poaching my meatballs right in the sauce. I feel it captures and blends all of the flavours without losing anything to the frying process, which is how I used to always cook my meatballs.

I saw this old Italian lady just drop her freshly formed, raw meatballs right into a simmering sauce and thought... what the hell... why didn't I think of that? So I have been doing it ever since. I also made a video of using turkey meat too which turned out surprisingly tasty...

...Poaching meatballs keeps their shape better, and keeps the outside tender and moist without any hard or scorched edges.
This is one of the ongoing "meatball controversies". I do both. I brown the meatballs then cook them in the sauce. That's how my Italian cooking expert taught me.

Just some cooking to discuss.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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I bake first, then into the sauce. For spaghetti anyway.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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I prefer them cooked in the sauce if I can make them the day before. I think you get a very tender tasty meatball but, I am not crazy about the sauce after it has cooked so long. I prefer a quick bright sauce. The whole thing depends on my mood.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Ground veal mixed with fatty ground beef and bread crumbs. Add whatever seasoning you want, rinse, and repeat.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:05 PM   #9
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Ground veal mixed with fatty ground beef and bread crumbs. Add whatever seasoning you want, rinse, and repeat.

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Old 05-17-2011, 01:27 PM   #10
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I just seem to end up with either a really tough meatball, or the meatball seems to disintegrate into the sauce. I think I defiantly need to look at the meat and fat content and maybe extra binding needed?!
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #11
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I just seem to end up with either a really tough meatball, or the meatball seems to disintegrate into the sauce. I think I defiantly need to look at the meat and fat content and maybe extra binding needed?!
Could you list the ingredients so we can offer suggestions?
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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After using two eggs to bind the ground pork together, I prefer browning them in a skillet before dropping them into my sauce. The browning seems to add a lot of flavor and keeps the meatballs from falling apart.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:28 PM   #13
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After using two eggs to bind the ground pork together, I prefer browning them in a skillet before dropping them into my sauce. The browning seems to add a lot of flavor and keeps the meatballs from falling apart.
BROWN is FLAVOR, I agree.

I also like to render a little fat out so that sauce isn't greasy.
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #14
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I use at least two meats, beef and pork. I use fresh bread crumbs, soaked in milk (this makes such a difference in the texture).
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:03 PM   #15
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I make 200 meatballs a week & fresh sauce three times a week. So I am confident to say that people like my meatballs & sauce.

I have always made my meatballs with 1/2 Italian sausage & half ground beef. When I lived in NY, I used Gianelli hot Italian sausage but now that I live in the country of Mexico, I make my own Italian sausage with ground pork, (I add oil & some bacon grease bc the pork is so lean), fresh chopped garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, red hot chili flakes, salt & black pepper. I cook this up. Then mix it with ground beef & homemade Italian bread crumbs (fresh bread in the food processor with Italian seasoning, salt & parmesan cheese) & eggs. Bake at 350 on a cookie sheet for 25 minutes.

My sauce, I cook in a crockpot on high for 6 to 8 hours. A combination of crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, fresh garlic & Italian seasoning. After cooking, I puree it.

I rarely make spaghetti & meatballs but my favorite is our Anthony panini. It is made with meatballs, fresh sauce, herbed ricotta, mozzarella & hot peppers (sauteed serrano, green chili, poblano & jalapeno). So good...also yummy toppings for a pizza or in a calzone
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:14 PM   #16
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BROWN is FLAVOR, I agree.
Good point. The brain interprets texture as flavor, so something to be said for that.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #17
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Good point. The brain interprets texture as flavor, so something to be said for that.

It goes beyond texture. The Maillard reaction initiated by deep browning of meat produces a flavor enhancement beyond that of meat added to sauce raw.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #18
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Well still up for debate in my view "judge" Andy , because when frying your meatballs first you will obviously be losing natural juices of the meat too.

Both ways are great of course, though I am always open to different views. I have cooked them both ways many times and they are both fantastic. I think its all about execution.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #19
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Well still up for debate in my view "judge" Andy , because when frying your meatballs first you will obviously be losing natural juices of the meat too.

Both ways are great of course, though I am always open to different views. I have cooked them both ways many times and they are both fantastic. I think its all about execution.
Andy was actually talking science
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:06 PM   #20
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Andy was actually talking science
Yes. Browning meat = enhanced flavor is simple food science.
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