Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Italian Meatballs

I really enjoying coming up with new recipes for hamburgers, meatballs, meatloaf, anything to do with ground beef really.  It's such a versatile ingredient and you can do so much with it.  So this is my meatball recipe that I came up with on Halloween of last year.  I was throwing a party for my Mother-in-law's Birthday and I needed some meatballs to go with my spaghetti.  There are 8 kids in this family, 6 grandkids, and Mom and Dad, so I had a HUGE family to feed.  My point is, this recipe will give you enough meatballs for a small army.  :)  I even had some left over after everyone had stuffed themselves full!

1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1 1/2 lb. Ground Mild Sausage
3/4 C. Parmesan
2 Eggs
3/4 C. Bread Crumbs (make sure they are really small)
4 Garlic Cloves Grated or Minced
1 Red Onion Finely Diced
4 Tbls. Butter
1/4 C. Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 tsp. Dried Basil
2 Tbls. Worchestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper

In a saute pan melt the butter and get it to ripple so you know it is hot.  Dump in the onion and grate in the garlic.  Cook that down until the onions are translucent.  Remove from heat and let cool. 

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and mix with hands.  Add the cooled onion and garlic and make sure to use a rubber spatula to get all the drippings into your meat.  (I also like to save about 1/4 of the onion and 2 garlic cloves to grate into the raw meat because those juices that come off the raw onion and garlic are to die for!  But this is totally an optional step.)

Take little palm sized pieces of the mixed meat and form into a  2 inch ball.  In the same saute pan you used to cook the onion you are going to brown every side of the meatball.  You just want a good crust on the outside of each ball.  Once the meatballs are completely browned you're going to line them up in a 9x13 baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  You want the steam to cook the meat thoroughly and keep it moist.  Since you already have a good crust on it you just want to focus on keeping them tender. 

Place baking dish or dishes in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 30-45 min.  You want the center to be 170 degrees, so just watch it.  Once the meatball is no longer pink in the middle, take off the aluminum foil and turn the broiler on high.  Let it just get a little bit darker under the broiler (about 3-5min).

Once they are no longer pink you can serve.  

Now, if you are serving with spaghetti what I like to do is take them out of the oven a little before they are all the way cooked and add them to my marinara sauce and let them really cook through in the sauce.  It makes them moist and delicious and that tomato flavor really gets all the way through the entire meatball.

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