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I am looking for a GREAT meatball recipe

cv Jan 29, 2006 03:18 PM

also, what is the best beef to use? Chuck?

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  1. s
    semmel RE: cv Jan 29, 2006 04:17 PM

    I like to use 1:1:1 beef:veal:pork. Recently saw ground buffalo at a store, might try that next time.

    7 Replies
    1. re: semmel
      mnosyne RE: semmel Jan 28, 2009 10:08 AM

      Buffalo is REALLY dry!

      1. re: mnosyne
        Val RE: mnosyne Jan 28, 2009 04:04 PM

        It is IF you overcook it...buffalo are strictly grass-fed...and as I understand it, it does NOT need to be cooked as thoroughly as commercial ground beef.(yuk...sorry, but with all of the e-coli and other food scares recently, I've just about given up on USDA ground beef...consider the fact that the cattle **may be** eating parts of other cattle! totally disgusting and totally unacceptable for USDA to allow us to eat that stuff and for it to even be sold!!!! <stepping down off soapbox>)

        1. re: Val
          Ruth Lafler RE: Val Feb 2, 2009 02:51 PM

          It has a much lower fat content than grain-fed beef, so it's not really suitable for something like meatballs, though, which will be dry and tough -- there's no such thing as a medium-rare meatball!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            theamusedbouche RE: Ruth Lafler Aug 29, 2011 10:26 PM

            I get 85% ground beef that is not at all dry and is perfect for meatballs from White Oaks Pastures (Georgia) which is 100% grass-fed operation - they are the most humane cattle ranchers I have ever come across - incredibly ethical. No feeding other cows to cows here! Or "pink slime" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wshlnR...) - gross.

            You can do ethical grass-fed beef meatballs that are delish. Please don't fall back on the atrocities of grain-fed because you think grass-fed will be too dry

            1. re: theamusedbouche
              Val RE: theamusedbouche Sep 4, 2011 04:03 PM

              @amusebouche: good information...thank you!!!!

      2. re: semmel
        Bookwormgal RE: semmel Mar 29, 2010 10:05 PM

        I like to make something I call "Chicken Meatball Tika Marsala" where I make chicken meatballs, and mix 2 cups chicken marsala sauce with 2 cups tikka masala sauce, a melted stick of butter plus yogurt or sour cream to taste.


        1. re: Bookwormgal
          iL Divo RE: Bookwormgal Aug 29, 2011 08:44 PM

          ok you got my attention.
          could you plz explain more. not familiar with chx Marsala sauce or tikka Marsala sauce. what do you do with the sauces? > pour over chicken meatballs? how do you make the meatballs? ingreds plz. also where do I buy those (2) sauces? TIA

      3. o
        oakjoan RE: cv Jan 29, 2006 04:47 PM

        There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on 1/18 describing a chicken meatball recipe made at Oliveto Restaurant in Oakland. I haven't tried it yet, but it's intriguing.

        Name of article is

        FOWL PLAY
        How to bring out the best in America's favorite meat

        If you search for "oliveto chicken meatball" it should take you to the recipe. The Chron's website, unlike the NYT, is free with no registration...yet.

        1. m
          Marge RE: cv Jan 29, 2006 04:56 PM

          Here is a GREAT recipe from Rao's restaurant in NY

          Link: http://therecipereader.com/meatballs-...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Marge
            iL Divo RE: Marge Aug 24, 2010 10:46 AM

            oh Rao's.
            I'm thinking major love affair with the place, although I've not been fortunate enough to ever get in or get them to answer their phone :(

            here's how I'm making mine.
            "Mexican meatballs"

            1 lb ground beef [85/15]
            1/2 cup ground tortilla chips
            1/2 cup of my just made salsa
            1 yard jalepeno chopped fine
            1 egg
            2 T fresh chopped oregano
            finely shredded mozzarella cheese
            1 T melted butter
            2 T sour cream
            1 T water
            salt and pepper to taste
            mix all together but not too much cause otherwise they'll go all golf ball like.
            gently fry in pan with 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil.

            the salsa I just made that I'll use in this recipe is:
            Lot's of tomatoes
            1 yard very small little red pepper it's SUPER HOT
            salt and pepper
            lemon juice & lime juice
            2 small yard red onion
            3 yard garlic cloves
            2 T yard fresh cilantro
            1 tsp olive oil

            It's good not the best I've ever made but good.

            1. re: iL Divo
              iL Divo RE: iL Divo Aug 24, 2010 04:26 PM

              so so good.
              over buttered noodles, yumm

            2. re: Marge
              mollyblossom RE: Marge Feb 21, 2011 05:10 AM

              Hey Marge. Your right this is the best recipe for meatballs on this site. I am right now cooking a big pot of meatballs and sausage with there recipes... HA. Robyn in NYC

              1. re: Marge
                ospreycove RE: Marge Feb 21, 2011 05:15 AM

                As far as I go...Rao's recipe is the best!!!!!

              2. l
                Lisa RE: cv Jan 29, 2006 05:19 PM

                I used to use some bread crumbs with the mixture, then friend suggested using oatmeal instead - it makes a world of difference - try with the oatmeal!

                1. t
                  toodie jane RE: cv Jan 29, 2006 07:03 PM

                  passed on to me by my wonderful brother-in-law Ken:

                  5 slices day-old French bread, crustless
                  2# ground chuck
                  1 c. freshly grated Parmesean
                  1 lg onion finely chopped
                  1/2 c chopped parsley
                  1 t salt
                  1/2 t pepper
                  1 t oregano
                  2 t dred basil
                  3 cloves garlic minced
                  3 eggs
                  3 T olive oil

                  Tear bread into pieces and whirl in processor to make 2 cup lightly packed crumbs. Place chuck in large bowl, breaking it into pieces. Sprinkle crumbs and seasonings over the chuck, lightly whisk eggs only to blend and add to meat, then mix all with your hands. Shape into 1 1/2" balls and brown, uncrowded, in a large skillet. Turn and brown all sides. Remove to a plate while you deglaze the pan with a little red wine or stock, which then goes into your sauce. Place meatballs into sauce and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.

                  Sometimes I toss some brown mushrooms into the processor first, then add the crumbs and the garlic, cloves, and parsley to get the flavors well mixed before adding to the meat. The mushrooms add moisture, so the meatballs are softer when cooked, and very tender. They're more like the texture of my mom's veal meatballs, which are very tender and juicy. You can sub some of the chuck with veal if you like. It's pricey, but makes a spectacular meatball.

                  Good cooking!

                  1. s
                    Sharuf RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 07:19 AM

                    My favorite meatballs are the German ones called Koenigsberger klopse. They are featured at classy little cafes in Frankfurt.

                    Link: http://www.recipeviewer.com/r1/r71.html

                    1. k
                      Karl S RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 07:23 AM

                      As with meatloaf and hamburgers, you don't want to use beef that is too lean. Ground chuck (20-25% fat) is the way to go, but you could make about half of that ground sirloin if you are also using pork and veal, which is to be highly recommended (pork adds an irreplaceable sweetness, and veal assists in creating a lovely texture).

                      1. e
                        Ellen RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 08:15 AM

                        This is my favorite recipe. I use a pork-veal-beef mixture sold by my butcher, which I also use for meatloaf. I actually use the same recipe for meatloaf too except I leave out the garlic and oregano. I'm assuming the meat mixture has roughly equal portions of each.

                        For each pound of meat I add 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, 1/2 cup water, 1 small onion and 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, plenty of freshly ground pepper, chopped fresh oregano if I have it, 2 tsp salt, several dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce. Mix together by hand and form into 1 1/2 " balls. Brown in olive oil and finish cooking in red gravy. This looks to be basically the same as Rao's recipe except I don't add parmesan cheese. I may try that next time.

                        1. m
                          MMRuth RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 09:49 AM

                          I have a great Swedish meatball recipe if you are interested - tastes just like the ones I remember as a child in Sweden. Uses pork & veal.

                          Also a Spanish recipe for lamb meatballs.

                          26 Replies
                          1. re: MMRuth
                            macca RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2006 10:11 AM

                            MMRuth- Please post the Swedish meatball recipe. Funny- as I was reading these posts, and the posts for the sweet n sour meatball, I was thinking of swedish meatballs. My grandmother used to make them, but I do not have a "tried and true" recipe. Would greatly appraciate it- and may add it to my Superbowl snacks- along with Das's jfried lasagna noodles. TIA

                            1. re: macca
                              MMRuth RE: macca Jan 31, 2006 05:48 AM

                              Sorry for the delay:

                              1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
                              1/2 cup light cream
                              1/2 cup water
                              8 oz ground beef
                              8 oz ground lean pork
                              1 1/2 tsp salt
                              1 tsp ground allspice
                              2 T grated yellow onion
                              1 egg, beaten
                              3 T butter (for frying)

                              Mix bread crumbs, cream & water, set aside for 5 minutes. Work together meets, salt, allspice & onion. Gradually add bread crumb mixture and then egg. Blend well, fry a sample and adjust for seasoning.

                              Shape into balls. Heat part of butter in a skillet, add meatballs when foam starts to subside. Cook over moderate heat until brown and cooked through.

                              This mix is very "soft" - sometimes I lightly dust the balls with flour which seems to help them keep their taste.

                              Served them Christmas Eve as an hors d'oeuvre - with lingonberry sauce on the side.

                              1. re: MMRuth
                                MMRuth RE: MMRuth Jan 31, 2006 06:44 AM

                                Forgot to mention how many they make - recipe doesn't say. When I made it as appetizers, I made them quite small, there were 8 of us, and they were almost all gone (there were other hors d'oeuvres as well).

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  macca RE: MMRuth Jan 31, 2006 08:05 AM

                                  Thanks so much. All printed out and ready to go. Love that I will have a new offering for Superbowl treats. Will make a double batch, as I know my brothers remember my grandmothers Swedish meatballs, and they will be all over this!

                                  1. re: macca
                                    MMRuth RE: macca Jan 31, 2006 08:32 AM

                                    Just FYI - They can be a bit time consuming, in terms of forming the meatballs, esp. if you make them small. No reason you can't make ahead & reheat. Thought I might want gravy w/ them, but the nice coating of meat fat and butter made them plenty moist.

                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                      macca RE: MMRuth Jan 31, 2006 12:53 PM

                                      Thanks for the tip. Will be preparing on Saturday, too. Will probably make these on Saturday. Thanks

                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                        jchamberlain RE: MMRuth Aug 24, 2010 12:13 PM

                                        I went to a cooking supply store and bought a small ice cream scoop, makes ping pong sized meatballs. The have a flat bottom, but a litlle roll around and they are perfect.

                                    2. re: MMRuth
                                      MMRuth RE: MMRuth Jan 28, 2009 08:35 AM

                                      I wanted to add to this - the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp all spice, but I use at least the tsp referenced above, maybe more.

                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                        MMRuth RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 09:59 AM

                                        I just mixed up a batch, and 1 tsp was just right.

                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                          bakerboyz RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 10:36 AM

                                          MM, I know that you have made the most delicious burgers in the world, Suzanne Goin's Pork, Applewood smoked bacon and chorizo sausage burgers...well, I made meatballs, essentially using this as a base but with a combo of pork and ground veal, adding breadcrumbs and egg, and they were delicious.

                                          1. re: bakerboyz
                                            MMRuth RE: bakerboyz Jan 30, 2009 10:44 AM

                                            Oh how clever - I bet those were amazing.

                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                              bakerboyz RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 11:26 AM

                                              I just used a standard sweet and sour sauce to simmer them in: Heinz Chili Sauce, jellied cranberry sauce, brown sugar and fresh lemon juice. Really Good.

                                      2. re: MMRuth
                                        chowser RE: MMRuth Jan 30, 2009 10:40 AM

                                        I wonder why it calls for 1/2 c light cream and 1/2 c water, instead of whole milk, or another variation. I'm going to give this a try today but don't have light cream. I usually use milk in meatballs and meatloaf.

                                        1. re: chowser
                                          MMRuth RE: chowser Jan 30, 2009 10:45 AM

                                          I don't know - though I've noticed that a number of Swedish recipes call for light cream - I just finished making a hazelnut cake that did so as well.

                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                            The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Feb 2, 2009 06:42 AM

                                            MMRuth--is this an older recipe? Perhaps it was written for the era where it was more typical for people to have only small ice boxes (rather than the full-blown fridges we have today) and, because they wouldn't have had room to store milk, they would just keep a small container of cream and dilute it with water when they wanted milk. I know that was a typical practice in some places a couple of generations ago. Also, I know a generation or two ago, dairy producers in the U.S. got the best price for cream, so, that's what they produced for sure. Oftentimes, they wouldn't have the facilities to produce grade A milk (for human consumption), but only grade B milk (used for making cheese, butter, etc.). In those case, the producers just sold the cream, the grade B millk, and the remaining skim milk was fed to the hogs or consumed by the family.


                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              MMRuth RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 2, 2009 07:21 AM

                                              The book was published in Sweden in 1971 - and there are recipes that call for milk, as well.

                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                The Dairy Queen RE: MMRuth Feb 2, 2009 07:24 AM

                                                Well, the presence of other recipes calling for milk would seem to disprove my theory!


                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                  L987 RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 24, 2010 11:50 PM

                                                  i normaly add just cream no water (maybe a bit less liquid and breadcrumbs) and fry the onion in butter before adding it to the mix

                                        2. re: MMRuth
                                          Nicolette S RE: MMRuth Jan 20, 2011 08:26 AM

                                          MMRuth, I made your Swedish meatballs today and they are just delicious. You're right, the mixture is very soft, I used your flour dusting tip. And I'll tell you the truth, I balked momentarily at frying meatballs in butter but went ahead, as I've read your posts before and trust you. My, my, they are tender and delicious. I'm taking some to a Finnish friend who no longer cooks. I understand there are some differences in cuisines but I think she'll enjoy these. I certainly am!

                                          Many thanks to you.

                                          1. re: Nicolette S
                                            MMRuth RE: Nicolette S Jan 20, 2011 04:55 PM

                                            Oh good! I hope she enjoys them.

                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                              Nicolette S RE: MMRuth Feb 4, 2011 07:05 PM

                                              MMRuth, they were a hit. My friend loved them and is looking forward to the next time!
                                              Thanks so much for this recipe. I was really tickled to be able to make them for her.

                                          2. re: MMRuth
                                            sunflwrsdh RE: MMRuth Jan 20, 2011 06:28 PM

                                            My husband's grandmother came from Sweden, when she was 16, in the early 1900's. Her recipe was very similar to yours, except hers also calls for a cup of mashed potatoes. I think it also calls for rolling the meatballs in either bread crumbs or flour, as you do. Great meatballs, and I love the lingonberry preserves!

                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                              MMRuth RE: sunflwrsdh Jan 20, 2011 06:43 PM

                                              Two things to add:

                                              1. Someone on CH once suggested refrigerating the mixture, and I do now do that -- it helps firm it up a bit.

                                              2. I usually serve them with cucumber salad and mashed potatoes, though boiled are good too.

                                            2. re: MMRuth
                                              bayoucook RE: MMRuth Feb 5, 2011 01:49 AM

                                              My husband loves meatballs and used to have friends who made Swedish meatballs. I'm going to try this one on him. What could I sub for lingonberry if I can't find it?

                                              1. re: bayoucook
                                                MMRuth RE: bayoucook Feb 5, 2011 05:04 AM

                                                I think I would make cranberry sauce instead, if you can find cranberries. That said, I've been pleasantly surprised at the availability of lingonberry sauce in different parts of the country.

                                                1. re: bayoucook
                                                  greedygirl RE: bayoucook Feb 5, 2011 06:14 AM

                                                  Do you have IKEA in the States? They usually have lingonberry sauce there.

                                          3. n
                                            nja RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 12:48 PM

                                            I really love the Italian braised meatball recipe from A16 in the link below. Scroll to the middle of the page. I have made it with turkey meat (not breast, but the dark meat ground turkey), adding a little bit of organic shortening to make up for the lower fat, and it is also excellent.

                                            Link: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: nja
                                              newfoodie RE: nja Jan 28, 2009 08:40 AM

                                              Yum, I agree the A16 meatballs are fabulous! I used different link though:


                                            2. t
                                              TrishUntrapped RE: cv Jan 30, 2006 06:32 PM

                                              These italian meatballs are very moist. They don't have a lot of spices in them. But they hold their own.

                                              1 lb. ground chuck beef
                                              1/2 lb. ground pork
                                              1 medium onion, diced very small
                                              3 cloves garlic, minced fine
                                              2 Tablespoons olive oil
                                              2 eggs, lightly beaten
                                              3 slices italian bread, crust trimmed off
                                              Milk to soak bread
                                              1/2 teaspoon oregano
                                              salt, pepper to taste

                                              1. Cover bread with milk and let soak.
                                              2. In a frying pan, heat oil, add onion and garlic and cook slowly till onion releases it juice (you want some evaporation). Remove from heat.
                                              3. In large bowl add beef and pork. Take bread out of milk and squeeze it lightly. You don't need excessive milk. Add soaked bread, eggs, onion and garlic, oregano and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Mix together and form meatballs.

                                              Fry in olive oil, several at a time, till browned, put in favorite sauce to continue cooking.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                pitu RE: TrishUntrapped Jan 28, 2009 09:59 AM

                                                Agreed . . . the operative bits are
                                                a mix of pork and beef
                                                a little bread, soaked in milk
                                                minced onion
                                                fresh italian flat leaf parsley
                                                generous salt and pepper
                                                good parm

                                                I like the recipe in Biba's Taste of Italy as a starting point

                                              2. mschow RE: cv Jan 28, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                All the others recipes posted here sounds great. I've been using this recipe from epicurious for a couple of years and it turns out great. The meatballs are nice and tender. I usually pan fry them, but other reviewers of the recipe have baked them or put them right into their tomato sauce.

                                                1. p
                                                  pilar1221 RE: cv Jan 28, 2009 11:43 AM


                                                  NIgella's recipe is outstanding. I add veal as well to the mixture and usually go with the semolina. Makes tons, use ice cream scoop sized for you, freeze and bag. Meatballs in a heartbeat for a quick tasty meal. Her sauce is yummy.

                                                  Highly recommended.

                                                  1. g
                                                    gourmet wife RE: cv Jan 29, 2009 08:21 AM

                                                    Last night I adapted the RAO recipe. The 2 cups of water they incorporate into the meat really intrigued me. Instead of two, I used 1 cup and 1 onion, handful of parsley and a couple of garlic, blended it all together in the blender to make 2 cups of liquid. Turned out pretty good. I did add more herbs and seasoning into my mixture. The recipe makes a very soft and light meatball which I quite like. I combined the meatballs to Giada's quick marinara sauce and it turned out great.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: gourmet wife
                                                      maggiej RE: gourmet wife Jan 30, 2009 06:36 AM

                                                      I really like to make meatballs with part turkey (thigh meat if available.) I don't like frying them, so I just simmer in a good tomato sauce. I freeze them in the sauce, too.

                                                      Recipe here: http://pithyandcleaver.blogspot.com/2...

                                                    2. r
                                                      rachel12 RE: cv Jan 30, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                      I like to start with a combination of ground beef (93/7 fat ratio), ground pork, and ground veal. I put it all in a large bowl with one egg, and enough bread crumbs,or surprisingly, I also love Ritz and Salteen cracker's, just make sure you don't add too much salt since they have a good amount on them already. I use enough crushed up to cover the top of the meat mixture (I would guess around 1/2 cup maybe slightly more, it may seem like a lot, but I've noticed that they turn out really moist with out loosing their "meaty" quality. I add a half onion (small) grated, dried parsley Tbsp, and a dash or two or dried basil and oregano, and roughly a Tbsp of garlic powder. Next I add about a quarter cup of Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and then add a small amount of milk to bind adding more until I reach a consistency I'm happy with. Then I sautee them in a pan over medium heat, browning both sides and throw them in an oven at 350 degrees until they are cooked in the center (this depends on the size of the balls you make.

                                                      Hope you enjoy!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: rachel12
                                                        kchurchill5 RE: rachel12 Jan 30, 2009 10:52 AM

                                                        Mine are simple and quick. I make a very moist spicy turkey meatball and then serve it with a honey BBQ glaze, they are a bit spicy but not too hot. They are great. Just easy and quick and the turkey makes it a bit healthy as would learn ground beef. I pan saute and then bake to finish. No cheese, just herbs and some condiments. Great side. These can also be made in a slow cooker on just on the stove. Take your pick.

                                                        Good for an appetizer or main course.

                                                      2. alanbarnes RE: cv Jan 30, 2009 11:14 AM

                                                        Here's my favorite. Moist and tender with a great crust. Parsley and pine nuts inside provide contrasts of texture and color. I like to make really big batches so that there are always some in the freezer.

                                                        1 loaf stale bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
                                                        5 pounds ground meat (I usually mix chuck and pork shoulder)
                                                        12 eggs, beaten
                                                        12 garlic cloves, minced
                                                        3 cups Pecorino Romano, grated
                                                        1 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped fine
                                                        1 cup pine nuts, toasted
                                                        2 teaspoons kosher salt
                                                        2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

                                                        Soak the bread cubes in water to cover for a minute. Drain and squeeze to press out excess moisture.

                                                        Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to incorporate. Chill for half an hour or more in the fridge. Form into 2 oz. balls. Chill again. The colder your meat mixture, the rounder the meatballs will stay.

                                                        Arrange meatballs on baking sheets and put in a 450F oven until thoroughly browned. Remove, let cool, and cook immediately or freeze.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: alanbarnes
                                                          kchurchill5 RE: alanbarnes Jan 30, 2009 11:29 AM

                                                          1 lb turkey, 1 egg, 2 slices of regular bread white or wheat soaked in milk (just a minute then squeezed, then added to the meat. I like 1 teaspoon each ... fresh parsley, dried Italian seasoning, cumin, salt and pepperand worscestershire. 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 large shallot minced. I also like to add some hot sauce for some flavor. Or if making Mexican ones ... add 1 chipolte diced.

                                                          Make the meatball and chill until firm, just 30 minutes or so or longer. Pan sear in olive oil and then I like to bake, but you can continue on the stove top if adding a sauce. I like to use a base BBQ sauce, added chipoltes, honey and apple jelly. This makes a tangy sweet BBQ sauce which is great for nibbling. I use different sauces depending on what I am using it for.

                                                        2. lynnlato RE: cv Feb 2, 2009 07:09 AM

                                                          I know Italian meatballs. I practically grew up on them. That said, my hands down favorite meatball recipe is one I found in Bon Appetit several years ago. I was skeptical when I read the recipe, but also intrigued so I made them and absolutely fell in love. Others have approached them skeptically when I told them the ingredients but after they try them they inevitably fall in love. They are Sicilian meatballs made w/ mild Italian sausage instead of the traditional beef, pork, veal blend (my Mom's side is Sicilian & I'd never heard of meatballs made like these). They also include pine nuts and a small amount of currants which keep them so moist and add the most subtle sweetness. Other ingredients are standard, breadcrumbs soaked in a bit of milk, Locatelli romano cheese, egg, parsley, etc. Oh, and they are baked at 450 degrees which produces a superior meatball than frying, IMHO.

                                                          Sicilian Meatballs

                                                          2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
                                                          3 tablespoons milk
                                                          1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
                                                          1/4 cup finely chopped onion
                                                          3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
                                                          1 large egg
                                                          1 garlic clove, minced
                                                          1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                          1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
                                                          2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
                                                          2 tablespoons dried currants

                                                          Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil baking sheet. Mix crumbs and milk in medium bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Mix in Parmesan, onion, basil, egg, garlic and pepper. Add sausage, pine nuts and currants; blend well. Using wet hands, form mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on baking sheet. Bake until meatballs are light brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Add to sauce.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: lynnlato
                                                            pitu RE: lynnlato Feb 2, 2009 01:51 PM

                                                            I've heard swoons over pignoli and currants in meatballs, although I've yet to try it myself. Thx for the reminder.
                                                            There's a restaurant in Brooklyn does it this way, Frankie Sputino.

                                                            1. re: pitu
                                                              lynnlato RE: pitu Feb 2, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                              I would've been the 1st naysayer. It just sounds like some lame gourmand's attempt to "recreate the meatball" - but having made these many, many times now, I'm hear to say it's meatball perfection. Try it. :)

                                                            2. re: lynnlato
                                                              ChristinaMason RE: lynnlato Mar 30, 2010 07:07 AM

                                                              Did you mean that they're baked at 350F? Two different numbers in your post. These sound good. Do you serve with marinara sauce?

                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                lynnlato RE: ChristinaMason Jul 29, 2010 09:25 PM

                                                                So sorry, I don't know why I didn't see your post before now - 350 degrees. And yes, I serve them with my standard red sauce. Here is the link to where I found them originally. I don't use the sauce recipe, just the meatball recipe:


                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: lynnlato Aug 26, 2010 08:48 PM

                                                                  No prob. Thanks!

                                                            3. Paulustrious RE: cv Oct 22, 2009 07:08 AM

                                                              One thing that is not mentioned here is that you can beat your meat. (Pardon my the use of that expression).
                                                              Put the ground beef alone in the KitchenAid with the heavy beater for a minute or two. I am not sure of the chemistry, but it alters the texture so that it binds better. You will see the change as the meat gets more tacky.

                                                              1. Perilagu Khan RE: cv Mar 30, 2010 07:26 AM

                                                                I'd recommend highly the Meatball Bible Cookbook. It has literally hundreds of meatball recipes, and most of those I've tried so far have been excellent.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  chefirish RE: cv May 28, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                                  Rao's MEATBALLS are awesome!!! Google it.

                                                                  1. i
                                                                    isadorasmama RE: cv Jul 29, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                                    These recipes all seem to include eggs. Are there any fabulous ones without?

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                      mcf RE: isadorasmama Aug 24, 2010 02:52 PM

                                                                      NO! :-) I make a recipe I eyeballed from the local famous meatball maker who won a throwdown with Bobby Flay, Mike Maroni. On the show he said, "4 eggs, I'm making a quiche inside these meatballs." Replaced my long time favorite recipe with his as I saw it and from what he disclosed:

                                                                      RECIPE Maroni meatballs (my version)

                                                                      1 lb ground chuck
                                                                      4 lg. eggs
                                                                      4 oz pecorino romano
                                                                      1 cup bread crumbs
                                                                      4 cloves garlic, chopped
                                                                      ¼ cup parsley, chopped
                                                                      1/3 cup onion, grated or chopped

                                                                      Mix and make meatballs the size of lg. eggs. Bake in a hot oven til browned, then add to sauce and simmer.

                                                                      1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                        L987 RE: isadorasmama Aug 24, 2010 11:55 PM

                                                                        you can try with only breadcrumbs and cream/milk or boild (mashed) potaotes can work too

                                                                      2. greygarious RE: cv Feb 5, 2011 06:30 AM

                                                                        The simplest way to assure a moist meatball is to include a lot of vegetables. Bread and egg will hold it together. My meatballs and meatloaf have pretty much the same veggie additions as my frikadellen, which is to say onion, garlic, and coleslaw. The cabbage is unrecognizable in the finished meat, melting away while imparting moisture and sweetness. I like to slice the onion into very thin rings with a mandoline, then combine well into the meat mixture. That way they provide a scaffolding that helps the meatballs hold together well even if the meat is lean.

                                                                        Normally I use just ground chuck, or a mix of ground chuck and ground turkey, but last week I tried a frikadellen version with ground pork, caraway rye, and applesauce instead of milk to moisten the bread. The slaw is a natural partner for pork. These came out very well. I added chive cream cheese, apple cider, and balsamic vinegar to the pan drippings to make a little sauce.

                                                                        1. PoppiYYZ RE: cv Feb 21, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                          Favorite meat (beef or 80/20 beef/pork combo) gently mixed with favorite seasonings (S+P, fresh garlic, Parmesan, oregano, garlic and onion powder, and herb bread crumbs). Form balls and place on baking rack over a baking pan with a little water (stops smoking) and blast in a 500F oven for 20 minutes (turning once). Then poach in tomato sauce for 2 hours. Tender, moist and amazing. The sauce is amazing too!

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                            jhc711 RE: PoppiYYZ Aug 29, 2011 01:41 AM

                                                                            Made a version tonight that is pretty close to Rao's except without cheese which I do not care for. Used a 1:1:1 beef/veal/pork from Whole Foods. Had to substitute Panko as I did not have stale bread or regular breadcrumbs. Have to say, these were not nearly as good as others I have made. Heavy, and not nearly as flavorful as others I've made. The best meatball I ever made was 100% veal, 1lb meat to 2 eggs to 1 cup Contatdina seasoned breadcrumbs (no bread, milk, etc..). A healthy shake of onion powered, garlic powder, and shallot-pepper I got from the Spice House. No other liquid needs. Fried in EVOO and added to an arrabiata sauce. The meatballs were light, very flavorful, almost sweet, but not hot - a nice contrast to the bright, spicy tomato sauce. I may have to go back to that recipe, although I would still like to add some ground pork to the next batch.

                                                                            1. re: jhc711
                                                                              Colin4May RE: jhc711 Aug 30, 2011 01:30 AM

                                                                              Hey! I tried the meatball recipe above from mcf and it was great! Thanks for that! I am going to do it again for friends this weekend, and propose to have some "tear and share" bread rolls to go with it, containing Marmite:


                                                                              1 ¼ tsp yeast
                                                                              550g (1 lb 4 oz) strong white flour
                                                                              2 tsp sugar
                                                                              2 tbsp oil
                                                                              1 ½ tsp salt
                                                                              300ml water


                                                                              6 tsp marmite
                                                                              100g (4oz) mature cheddar cheese grated.

                                                                              Place ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed above. Use the Pizza dough setting 45 mins.
                                                                              Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle 26cm x 20cm (10”x8”)
                                                                              Spread marmite on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
                                                                              Roll the dough from the long edge to make a Swiss roll and cut into 8-10 slices. Arrange in a greased 23cm (9״) sandwich tin.
                                                                              Leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size
                                                                              Pre heat oven on CONVECTION 220°C
                                                                              Cook for 15 minutes.

                                                                              Here's more detail and a picture: http://theideaskitchen.co.uk/cook/rec...

                                                                              1. re: jhc711
                                                                                lrealml RE: jhc711 Sep 5, 2011 01:49 PM

                                                                                The meatballs were probably too heavy because of the panko. The point of bread/bread crumbs is to absorb the liquid and make the meatballs tender and light. Panko is designed for getting a crispy crust on the outsides of food... not substitutable IMO.

                                                                                Long ago I used to use small amounts of bread crumbs (although never store bought because they taste gross to me), but then I finally wrangled my great grandmother's (who's family was from Naples) meatball recipe out of my mother (they are the best meatballs) and found that she used a lot of bread and milk.
                                                                                Since then I've done a lot of experimenting and found that a ton of high quality fresh bread torn to pieces and soaked with a little milk give me the best results (although if you make fresh bread crumbs out of the same amount of bread and still add milk, the results will be almost as good). I use double the amount for bread to meat (after all it is peasant food).

                                                                                IMO, the best tip for making meatballs that I discovered was to test them before you commit to cooking them. I cook a mini meatball (the size of my thumb tip) in a skillet with a drop of OO. I then taste it and adjust the seasoning and texture and then repeat the test until my meatball is perfect. It sucks to make a whole batch and then find out you needed more salt or more bread, etc...

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