Author Topic: Need Good Meatball Recipe  (Read 7237 times)

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Offline billneild

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Need Good Meatball Recipe
« on: March 26, 2006, 03:28:19 PM »
One of the toppings I like the best on a NY pizza is sliced up pre-cooked meatballs.  Does anyone have a killer recipe?  I know the basics of how to make meatballs, but I've never had them come out like the ones on a NY pizza.  Any ideas?

Bill


Offline Fio

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2006, 12:25:20 AM »
This recipe is straight from Batavia.  My Dad passed it on from his mom - pure WNY Italian.  You can get the Locatelli from Wegmans or Rubinos  http://www.rubinos.net/:

1# ground beef
1# ground pork
1/2 to 1 cup grated Locatelli Romano pecorino cheese
4 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
salt, pepper to taste
5 TBS basil
6 cloves garlic, through a garlic press
1 tsp mint
5 TBS dried parsely

I know it seems like a lot of other stuff besides meat - but these are fantastic.

Mix everything together - I use a stand mixer.  Let sit for a half hour to let the flavors mingle.

Form into balls - golf ball size.  BAKE them at 425 for 30 minutes until brown.  Baking is easier than frying.

Here's the kicker.  You need to then cook them in tomato sauce. They absorb moisture and flavor from the sauce - otherwise, they'll be hard and tough.  This recipe is intended for meatballs that are cooked along with spaghetti sauce.

If you want, I've got a killer recipe for that as well.

Cheers,

- Fio

Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2006, 06:52:29 AM »
If you have a killer spaghetti sauce recipe I'd sure like it.

Thanks

Richard




Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2006, 07:52:27 AM »
Fio's recipe looks great and I intend to try it soon. Thanks, Fio.

But if you don't have time to make them from scratch, Trader Joe's sells frozen meatballs which are surprisingly good. Not as good as homemade, but quite acceptable none the less.

Bill/SFNM

Offline varasano

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2006, 10:05:28 AM »
I make killer meatballs. The key is to taste a few test meatballs before cooking the whole batch. Even with the same ingredients, the balance between these makes a huge difference in the final product and it's something you have to get a feel for

2 lbs ground beef (Chuck not ground round or sirloin)
1 cup grated Locatelli Romano pecorino cheese (grate this yourself)
2 eggs (3 at MOST and only if it's dry)
1.5 cups bread crumbs. I do this with fresh (not day old), bakery bread, which I cut up, dry out in an oven/toaster oven at 300F convection for 20 minutes, then cut up finer with a food processor or knife. It's ok to have pieces that are as big as 1/4 inch in size.
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
6 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped pretty small, but not pressed.
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed by hand
Kosher or sea salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste, but don't be shy

Handle the meat lightly. Mix by pulling it apart, not pressing it or mashing it together. Remember, just like gluten, meat protein tightens when you work it, so be gentle.

Pour just enough olive oil to coat pan, maybe 1/8 inch.  Mix a tiny flat 1 inch circle and fry it up on both sides and taste it.  Adjust oregano, salt and pepper and repeat until you are satisfied. This is where you need a bit of experience.

Then make your meatballs and cook them. The balls should be fairly loose, not pressed super tight.  Don't over crowd the pan.  The heat should be high enough so that the balls sizzle, but not so high that they pop (good rule for all meats).  At first they stick to the pan, but as they brown, they will release. Try not to force them and only turn when they release themselves (1 in 10 you kind of have to force). Shake the pan gently to see which ones are loose and ready for turning.  Brown on all sides. Don't turn too frequently.  Do one side till it's brown then turn.  You may have to add a bit more oil as you go, depending on th meat. Some lean cuts soak up oil, some fattier cuts give off oil.  Really you don't want very lean meatballs.

Empty 2 cans of good tomatoes (I like Cento) into a pot and grind with an emersion mixer (or food processor). Just a light blend, not a puree.  Simmer, put the meatballs in sauce as they are done. You can add some romano cheese to the sauce to and at most 1 teaspoon of sugar if you need it. These will mellow out any bitterness. Better to go heavy on the romano and light on the sugar.  Simmer.  You can eat right then, or chill for day. When they are off the stove, push a whole bunch of unchopped parsley into the sauce.  Cool a bit then move the whole pot to the fridge for a day.  Next day, simply move back to the stove and simmer again. Once up to temp, throw out the parsely as it's released all it's flavor and is now bitter.

That's pretty much it. That's your sunday gravy and meatballs for your pizza.

Jeff
« Last Edit: March 27, 2006, 10:22:40 AM by varasano »

Offline billneild

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2006, 02:35:12 PM »
Thanks guys.  I'll try the recipes over the next few weeks and let you know how I screwed them up.

Bill

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 08:06:03 PM »
I make killer meatballs. The key is to taste a few test meatballs before cooking the whole batch. Even with the same ingredients, the balance between these makes a huge difference in the final product and it's something you have to get a feel for

2 lbs ground beef (Chuck not ground round or sirloin)
1 cup grated Locatelli Romano pecorino cheese (grate this yourself)
2 eggs (3 at MOST and only if it's dry)
1.5 cups bread crumbs. I do this with fresh (not day old), bakery bread, which I cut up, dry out in an oven/toaster oven at 300F convection for 20 minutes, then cut up finer with a food processor or knife. It's ok to have pieces that are as big as 1/4 inch in size.
1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
6 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped pretty small, but not pressed.
1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed by hand
Kosher or sea salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste, but don't be shy

Handle the meat lightly. Mix by pulling it apart, not pressing it or mashing it together. Remember, just like gluten, meat protein tightens when you work it, so be gentle.

Pour just enough olive oil to coat pan, maybe 1/8 inch.  Mix a tiny flat 1 inch circle and fry it up on both sides and taste it.  Adjust oregano, salt and pepper and repeat until you are satisfied. This is where you need a bit of experience.

Then make your meatballs and cook them. The balls should be fairly loose, not pressed super tight.  Don't over crowd the pan.  The heat should be high enough so that the balls sizzle, but not so high that they pop (good rule for all meats).  At first they stick to the pan, but as they brown, they will release. Try not to force them and only turn when they release themselves (1 in 10 you kind of have to force). Shake the pan gently to see which ones are loose and ready for turning.  Brown on all sides. Don't turn too frequently.  Do one side till it's brown then turn.  You may have to add a bit more oil as you go, depending on th meat. Some lean cuts soak up oil, some fattier cuts give off oil.  Really you don't want very lean meatballs.

Empty 2 cans of good tomatoes (I like Cento) into a pot and grind with an emersion mixer (or food processor). Just a light blend, not a puree.  Simmer, put the meatballs in sauce as they are done. You can add some romano cheese to the sauce to and at most 1 teaspoon of sugar if you need it. These will mellow out any bitterness. Better to go heavy on the romano and light on the sugar.  Simmer.  You can eat right then, or chill for day. When they are off the stove, push a whole bunch of unchopped parsley into the sauce.  Cool a bit then move the whole pot to the fridge for a day.  Next day, simply move back to the stove and simmer again. Once up to temp, throw out the parsely as it's released all it's flavor and is now bitter.

That's pretty much it. That's your sunday gravy and meatballs for your pizza.

Jeff


That looks like a delicious recipe.  Ever thought of soaking the bread in some milk first before mashing it up with the rest of your ingredients?

Offline Slamdunkpro

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2006, 05:38:01 PM »
Quote
1# ground beef
1# ground pork
1/2 to 1 cup grated Locatelli Romano pecorino cheese
4 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
salt, pepper to taste
5 TBS basil
6 cloves garlic, through a garlic press
1 tsp mint
5 TBS dried parsely

Wow, 4 eggs seems like a lot for just 2 lbs of meat. They don't get all “quicheie” ?

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2006, 10:04:57 AM »
Wow, 4 eggs seems like a lot for just 2 lbs of meat. They don't get all “quicheie” ?

It might, but it helps if you mix ingredients into the meat one-by-one, from wettest to driest.

Offline Fio

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2006, 11:52:47 AM »
Wow, 4 eggs seems like a lot for just 2 lbs of meat. They don't get all “quicheie” ?

Actually, the last time I made them, I think they ended up getting "quichie" or, in my case cooked a bit hard and not at all tender.

In the future I'll try two eggs.

I think it's too late now to edit the post.

Thanks.
Since joining this forum, I've begun using words like "autolyze" and have become anal about baker's percents.  My dough is forever changed.


Offline abc

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2007, 12:15:20 PM »
That looks like a delicious recipe.  Ever thought of soaking the bread in some milk first before mashing it up with the rest of your ingredients?


i too have read of not as much using bread crumbs, as using say white bread cubes that make meatballs more moist.

Offline Trinity

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2007, 02:31:08 AM »
I like useing crushed up saltine crackers instead of bread crumbs. ;) ::)
It's an Earth food. They are called Swedish meatballs. It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs! I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never be explained, or which would drive you mad if you ever learned the truth.

Offline Buffalo

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2007, 08:23:19 AM »
Trinity;
Why use the saltine crackers instead of breadcrumbs?  What type of difference does it make with the meatballs?  Thanks......
Buffalo

Offline FirePie

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2009, 08:31:44 AM »
I've found that while using dried bread crumbs from a tin may be the most practical way for home cooks it is by no means preferable to me when making my favorite meatloaf or meatball mixture. I also don't go by way of using day-old bread from the bakery and pulverizing it until reduced to crumbs. Whenever I have some day-old bread lying around I reserve it for croutons, which I make larger than most packaged varieties and tastes just as good (if not ultimately better) as some of the best brands on most supermarket shelves.

When making a meatloaf/meatball mixture I generally use plain old white sandwich bread (perfect way to use those last few slices before they start to mold or become stale), which I process until crumbly and add directly to the meat. The soft texture of the bread makes for a very light, fluffy mix and therefore easier to absorb the cooked juices of the meat, creating that deliciously tender, almost soufflelike mouthfeel. It also eliminates the need to presoak dried bread crumbs, whether they come from a tin or made from scratch. The ratio of other ingredients remains much the same. I could post my own meatball formula if you wish.

-FirePie-

Offline David

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2009, 12:00:47 PM »
I know the basics of how to make meatballs, but I've never had them come out like the ones on a NY pizza.  Any ideas?
Bill

Most places i've found have quite a low ratio of meat to fillers.I'm sure some could even be termed Breadballs.Whatever it takes to maximise profit.
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Offline mmarston

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2009, 11:05:52 AM »
I learned from my Neapolitan mother-in-law to put raisins and Pignolis in my meatballs.
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Offline FirePie

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2009, 11:48:20 AM »
mmarston,

Yes, golden raisins and pignoli nuts are a common addition to the Neapolitan meatball (polpette). They are also used as a filling for braciole (involtini) made with fresh pork rind, often an ingredient found in Ragu Napoletana. I strongly urge everyone who hasn't tried this to give it a go. Meatballs as prepared in Campania, Rome or Calabria are not generally served in tomato sauce as so often believed, though the archetypical Neapolitan lasagna usually includes polpettini without the additional raisins and pignoli. In Calabria they are sometimes paired with tomato sauce for pasta, albeit they are much smaller than what we can expect to find in almost any restaurant. The larger meatballs are mostly fried and eaten plain, in a sandwich or with a sauce made from the pan juices.


Offline mmarston

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Re: Need Good Meatball Recipe
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2009, 12:04:22 PM »
I love a braciole as well. My mother-in-law uses beef and only puts parsley, garlic, raisins and pignolis in hers.
I like more ingredients in mine.

Here's a link to the one I've been making lately.

http://hubpages.com/hub/_The_Secret_To_Making_The_Best_Braciole_On_Earth

Michael
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry


 

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