Classic Meatballs

By December 1, 2015

Meatballs are a cinch to make and can be cooked in a variety of ways. This recipe uses beef and pork, but you can use a leaner combination of meats (turkey, venison, etc.) just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Credit to Food52 and the Kitchn for the tricks to making these so tasty. Recipe makes 3 dozen meatballs.

 1 lb ground beef
 1 lb ground pork or pork sausage
 1.5 cups bread crumbs (homemade taste best, see note below)
 1/2 cup milk
 2 large eggs
 1/2 cup grated hard salty cheese, like parmesan, asiago, or Hull's Trace
 2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh, minced)
 2 tbsp finely minced parsley (optional)
 1/4 tsp garlic powder
 1 garlic clove, minced
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp pepper
 1/2 medium white onion, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
 2 pints (or 1 quart) tomato sauce (optional)
 Serve with pasta and grated cheese (optional)
1

Place your ground beef and ground pork in a large bowl together.

2

If you're making your own bread crumbs (recommended) take 3-4 pieces thick white bread (sourdough works great) and tear into small pieces. Dry out in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until crunchy. Pop into your Vitamix or food processor and pulse until fine. Measure out about a cup and a half (a little more or less is fine), and then allow them to soak in the 1/2 cup of milk. Set aside.

3

Whisk together the 2 eggs, then add in the grated cheese, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pour onto the beef and pork, and mix gently with your hands.

4

Add in the onions and the bread crumbs, and then mix with your hands to break up any lumps and make mostly uniform. Don't overwork it, however, or it'll develop too much texture and become tough or spongy. Just enough so that everything is incorporated.

5

Use the palm of your hands to form small meatballs-- just a bit smaller than golf balls. Allow to rest 5 minutes on a cookie sheet.

6

If cooking on the stove top (recommended-- delicious!!) Bring 2 pints (1 quart) of tomato sauce to a simmer in a wide, shallow pan. Drop in the meatballs (re-shape if necessary if you have a flat spot from resting) and cook for 30 minutes, turning over once and re-coating in sauce. Be careful of splattering. If cooking in the oven, bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or less if using leaner meat.
If cooking in a slow-cooker, sear first in a hot pan and then cook with sauce on low for about 5 hours until no longer pink inside.
Serve on top of cooked pasta with a few shavings of cheese on top.

Freeze uncooked meatballs by spreading on a cookie sheet and covering with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer safe bag for 1 month. Freeze cooked meatballs in a freezer safe bag for up to 2 months. Allow to defrost, and then bring back to heat while simmering in tomato sauce.

Ingredients

 1 lb ground beef
 1 lb ground pork or pork sausage
 1.5 cups bread crumbs (homemade taste best, see note below)
 1/2 cup milk
 2 large eggs
 1/2 cup grated hard salty cheese, like parmesan, asiago, or Hull's Trace
 2 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh, minced)
 2 tbsp finely minced parsley (optional)
 1/4 tsp garlic powder
 1 garlic clove, minced
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp pepper
 1/2 medium white onion, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
 2 pints (or 1 quart) tomato sauce (optional)
 Serve with pasta and grated cheese (optional)

Directions

1

Place your ground beef and ground pork in a large bowl together.

2

If you're making your own bread crumbs (recommended) take 3-4 pieces thick white bread (sourdough works great) and tear into small pieces. Dry out in a 250 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until crunchy. Pop into your Vitamix or food processor and pulse until fine. Measure out about a cup and a half (a little more or less is fine), and then allow them to soak in the 1/2 cup of milk. Set aside.

3

Whisk together the 2 eggs, then add in the grated cheese, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Pour onto the beef and pork, and mix gently with your hands.

4

Add in the onions and the bread crumbs, and then mix with your hands to break up any lumps and make mostly uniform. Don't overwork it, however, or it'll develop too much texture and become tough or spongy. Just enough so that everything is incorporated.

5

Use the palm of your hands to form small meatballs-- just a bit smaller than golf balls. Allow to rest 5 minutes on a cookie sheet.

6

If cooking on the stove top (recommended-- delicious!!) Bring 2 pints (1 quart) of tomato sauce to a simmer in a wide, shallow pan. Drop in the meatballs (re-shape if necessary if you have a flat spot from resting) and cook for 30 minutes, turning over once and re-coating in sauce. Be careful of splattering. If cooking in the oven, bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or less if using leaner meat.
If cooking in a slow-cooker, sear first in a hot pan and then cook with sauce on low for about 5 hours until no longer pink inside.
Serve on top of cooked pasta with a few shavings of cheese on top.

Classic Meatballs

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