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Old 05-22-2015, 04:42 AM   #1
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Multiple Meats For Meatballs?

I am going to make a bunch of meatballs tomorow, and so many recipies use a mix of ground beef, ground pork, even veal or lamb. or chicken or turkey.

I am confused. Why mix the different meats? Usually, when I am in the Mood to eat beef, I eat beef. Or if I:m in the mood for pork, I eat pork, etc.

Is this a flavor or texture thing I am missing here?

Why mix the meats?

Eric, Austin Tx.

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Old 05-22-2015, 05:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by giggler View Post
I am going to make a bunch of meatballs tomorow, and so many recipies use a mix of ground beef, ground pork, even veal or lamb. or chicken or turkey.

I am confused. Why mix the different meats? Usually, when I am in the Mood to eat beef, I eat beef. Or if I:m in the mood for pork, I eat pork, etc.

Is this a flavor or texture thing I am missing here?

Why mix the meats?

Eric, Austin Tx.
I used to wonder about this. I think it may be to do with both flavour and texture, i.e. combining a lean mince like turkey/chicken with something more succulent/fatty like pork mince. If you have ever fried off turkey mince on its own - or even lean steak mince - you will notice how dry and stringy it can be. (I tend to add pancetta).
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:21 AM   #3
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Good question Giggler. I never thought about it. I always use beef for meatloaf or meatballs.

There was a time, way back in my past, when it was possible to get a mixture of meats for meatloaf. I don't recall any special taste, but it quickly became too expensive for me to use.

I can understand the use of ground pork to add to low fat ground beef to add the fat flavor. I use a mixture of 70/30 beef, plus 1/3# of ground pork sausage for the flavor.

I tried 80/20 ground beef, but decided I'd rather have the fuller flavor of 70/30 beef.

I found that a hamburger made with 80/20 beef didn't have the flavor I wanted, and usually tasted and looked like a hockey puck. LOL

Thanks for the good question, Giggler. I'll be looking forward to hearing the answers you have provoked.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:30 AM   #4
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I think they are just going for an original, particular flavor. I usually go with beef, but have used just about everything....as said previously, pork sausage meat is great to use at its flavor comes through well. If you stew the balls long enough they will become very tender...just don't over do it because they will fall apart..this is where the addition of egg will help prevent them from falling apart.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:27 AM   #5
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I always make meatballs with 1 pound of ground beef, at least 80/20, and 1/2 pound of ground pork. I like the flavor and texture of the mix better than meatballs made with all beef. I think they're more tender.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:59 AM   #6
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The butcher shop I use sells 'meatloaf mix'. Part beef/pork/veal.
Pretty tasty meatballs/meatloaf. Flavor texture excellent.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:59 AM   #7
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The difference is in texture and flavor vs. just beef. I use 1Lb beef and 1Lb veal and 1/2 Lb pork as the base.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #8
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A popular mix found in the meat case of my local market is quite tasty - 60% ground beef plus 40% ground pork. This is a wonderful mix for meatballs, meatloaf, hamburgers and casseroles.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:06 AM   #9
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Hi Selkie! It's good to hear from you.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #10
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Just like most recipes, everyone has a different take. Do what tastes good to you.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:21 AM   #11
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The first I mixed different meat types was for tourtière. That's really tasty. I have found a number of Danish recipes that use a mix of meats. I figured it was for variety.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:39 PM   #12
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The reason for mixing the meat has to do with the fat content. Ground pork usually has more fat than veal.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
The reason for mixing the meat has to do with the fat content. Ground pork usually has more fat than veal.
Unfortunately, here I can usually only find extra lean ground pork, especially in organic. I do find it adds variety to the flavour of meatballs and meatloaf.
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:33 PM   #14
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Where I come from originally, the population is about 75% Italian, so you can buy meatball mix in the meat case at any grocery store. It's a mix of 2 parts beef to 1 part pork and 1 part veal, and that is the way I make mine here in California. If for some reason there is no veal available I will use turkey in it's place. The mixture is for both flavor and texture and you can absolutely taste the difference over just beef. You will also want to use fresh bread crumbs you make yourself, not those dried out crumbs that come in a can and definitely not panko. you can absolutely see the difference in texture and flavor there, too.
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Where I come from originally, the population is about 75% Italian, so you can buy meatball mix in the meat case at any grocery store. It's a mix of 2 parts beef to 1 part pork and 1 part veal, and that is the way I make mine here in California. If for some reason there is no veal available I will use turkey in it's place. The mixture is for both flavor and texture and you can absolutely taste the difference over just beef. You will also want to use fresh bread crumbs you make yourself, not those dried out crumbs that come in a can and definitely not panko. you can absolutely see the difference in texture and flavor there, too.
The pre-made meatballs Craig got from the Italian market last week definitely had veal in them. That was the first thing I said as soon as I tasted one of them. There were definitely no dried bread crumbs in them either. Maybe fresh but the mix had been ground up so fine that you couldn't really tell. Most definitely had veal in it though and a lot of it because it was a very strong flavor component.
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Where I come from originally, the population is about 75% Italian, so you can buy meatball mix in the meat case at any grocery store. It's a mix of 2 parts beef to 1 part pork and 1 part veal, and that is the way I make mine here in California. If for some reason there is no veal available I will use turkey in it's place. The mixture is for both flavor and texture and you can absolutely taste the difference over just beef. You will also want to use fresh bread crumbs you make yourself, not those dried out crumbs that come in a can and definitely not panko. you can absolutely see the difference in texture and flavor there, too.
Same here. But we are given two different choices. One with veal and the other without. Right now veal is very expensive. So I buy the beef/pork combo. Beef alone has a difficult time holding together. And pork is given with extra fat from what is trimmed off in the back room. So an egg with the milk soaked bread does the job for holding the meatball together. I use fresh bread soaked in milk. The enzymes in the milk help tenderize the meat. I am not a fan of turkey meat. Seasonings, your choice.

Having been raised in an Italian town, I lean toward Italian seasonings, oregano, thyme, flat leaf parsley, etc. I buy it already combined and since I go through it rather quickly, it suits my cooking style. That one container saves space in my cabinet.

Some times if they are available, I will buy Italian sausages and remove the casings. I adjust my seasonings to the whole mixture. Prices of meat are climbing higher every day. So I look for every price break I can find.
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Old 05-24-2015, 11:48 AM   #17
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When I buy my meat for meatballs, I know what I want so I don't even look at prices. To me, flavor is too important to be skimped on.

To 1 pound of meatball mix I add: 1 egg, 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup sauted onions, salt and pepper. No oregano, no parsley, no thyme, no rosemary, or anything else green. If I know I will be eating them all myself, I will add crushed red pepper. I'm Sicilian, I like it a bit spicy.

I can buy Italian sausage in a 1 pound chub pack, and I use that to make things like fritattas and Bolognese. In Niagara Falls I could buy Italian sausage, hot or sweet, in the casing (one long sausage, not links), in bulk, or in patties.
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Old 05-28-2015, 02:21 AM   #18
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I usually use beef and pork for my meatballs and I usually grind it myself. I also make turkey pork meatballs sometimes but it has to be turkey thigh meat as I find the breast meat too dry.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:01 AM   #19
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I soak Panko bread crumbs in whole milk until they can't absorb any more milk. Add them to the meat with a couple T of unsalted clarified butter and an egg white. Herbs. Season. Secret ingredient: a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg. Mix gently then slow simmer them till cooked through then a quick saute to lightly brown them. Oh ya. In the hot saute pan just one whole star anise to barely flavor the butter. Like for a minute. Remove and discard the star anise.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
I soak Panko bread crumbs in whole milk until they can't absorb any more milk. Add them to the meat with a couple T of unsalted clarified butter and an egg white. Herbs. Season. Secret ingredient: a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg. Mix gently then slow simmer them till cooked through then a quick saute to lightly brown them. Oh ya. In the hot saute pan just one whole star anise to barely flavor the butter. Like for a minute. Remove and discard the star anise.
What do you simmer them in?
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