Macedonian Meatballs of Fire
Serve these as an app at your next gathering and watch them dissappear!
1/2 ground lamb
1/2 ground pork
salt to taste
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
You can taste by mixing up the ingredients and then taking a hunk of raw meat and lick it with your tongue. I think the last time I made them I started with 2# lamb, 2# pork, scant palm salt/scant palm crushed red pepper flakes. Then you can modify from there.
Roll them to about the size of a golf ball and grill them for the best aroma and flavor. At one party they smelled so good (it's the lamb!) and everyone was so raving about them that a girl who had been vegetarian for 5 years actually broke down and had them. And loved them.
They go great with beer. And are very simple to make.
Here's my favorite meatball recipe:
3 lbs ground chuck
at least 1/2 head of garlic, chopped fine. (Remove and discard inner greenish germ.)
Chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup or more of freshly grated parmesan
1 1/2 loaves of white Pepperidge Farm type bread that you've left out a day or two to dry out
10 eggs, beaten (this keeps it moist -- but if you want, put in fewer)
Salt & Pepper
Cut and discard crusts and wet the bread with water in the sink --
squeeze out and add to the rest and mix well. (I put on latex gloves for this part) I then throw a dish towel over the bowl and place in the fridge for a couple of hours -- this is how my Italian mother always did it -- it blends the flavors or something.
Roll balls a bit larger than ping pong balls and then fry in 2 large non-stick frying pans. I use 1/2 olive oil, 1/2 canola oil. Brown well on all sides, sprinkle on salt when you remove from pan. I love them just like this but also love them simmered in my san marzano tomato sauce for about an hour.
Of course, this makes a lot and you can halve the recipe if you prefer.
I have been making these meatballs for years. I learned the recipe from an Italian neighbor we called "La Signora" Remember your meatballs are only as good as your Sugo or sauce. Sauce should be enough to cover the meatballs completely. Or more.
* 3 lbs meat ground twice (ask your butcher to do it, the difference is great). 1/3 pork, 1/3 veal, 1/3 beef, or all beef, or any combination you like.
* one bunch of Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
* 3 cups of bread Italian or French or sturdy White, torn in pieces and soaked in 1-2 cups milk. You should have one cup after soaking and draining.
* one small onion very finely chopped
* 1-2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
* 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 8 large eggs beaten
* 1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts
* 1/2 cup Golden Raisins plumped in hot water for 15 minutes
* Combine the meat, salt and pepper, grated onion, cheese, parsley .
* Beat eggs with a pinch of salt. Add to mixture.
* Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the bread. Break it up, and spread little dabs on the meat. Mix thoroughly with your hands, or place in a jumbo freezer bag , close and squeeze it around until combined.
* Add the toasted Pine Nuts and drained Raisins. They are optional, but make the Meatballs extra delicious.
BEFORE ROLLING AND BROWNING: Fry up a teaspoon or two of the mixture in a skillet. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.
* Roll the Meatballs. I make them rather large. One or two makes one portion. Place them on a Cookie Sheet.
* Flour the Meatballs. Place flour on a Cookie Sheet and rolls the Meatballs until they are lightly coated.
* Heat Olive Oil in a heavy skillet. Cast Iron or non-Stick le Creuset is best. Brown meatballs, turning to brown all sides. DO NOT CROWD. You should be able to do it in three or four batches.
* Have your sauce at a low simmer.
* Place browned Meatballs in the simmering sauce and cook covered for at least one hour, preferable two.
* You can make your sauce a day or two ahead, and then reheat. You can make the meatballs and refrigerate them ahead. Then flour and brown when you are ready to cook. The meatballs are time consuming, but the effort is well worth it. The recipe makes a lot, and they freeze beautifully. Use a lot of sauce. The Meatballs will flavor your sauce, and will make a beautiful Ragu to serve on Pasta.
About flouring and browning: Browning actually makes a less greasy dish with less fat. Flouring keeps the Meatballs intact and prevents them from soaking up oil.
fleur you beat me to it! my family always puts raisins and pine nuts in meatballs. i think it might be a southern italian tradition. we also put them in bracciole. the raisins add a sweet savory thing that plays off the acidity of the red sauce and the pine nuts add a different texture. as to browning versus just plopping them in the sauce - wars have been fought in my family over that. my mom's side always browned them and i do too. i couldn't do without that crunchy, carmelized exterior and as others have mentioned less fat in the sauce. my only break with tradition is to bake them on an oiled rack in the oven. they keep their shape better than pan cooking.
My German mother used to make a very tasty meatball, she called them Frikadellen:
1 pound (or so)of ground beef (or a combination of beef, pork, veal)
1 roll (I prefer an Italian roll, or 2 - 3 slices of Italian bread)
1 egg, slightly beaten
milk, enough to soak the roll or bread in
about 2 small onions, chopped
some celery, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
enough oil to brown meatballs (I use olive oil with a bit of butter)
Squeeze out the milk from the bread. Sweat the onions and celery in a pan and allow to cool somewhat before adding to meatball mix.
Mix everything together with *very clean* hands, or I use my KitchenAid to do the mixing. I find that mixing with the KA, the meatballs are lighter....more so than doing by hand. Form into meat patties and brown. Serve with buttered noodles, sprinkled with butter browned bread crumbs.
Yes, jmax. as hotoynoodle said there is a big difference. I know some people bake them which can create a light carmelization on the exterior. Having eaten pan seared vs. dropped in the sauce, the browned meatballs are, to my taste, much better both in flavor and texture. Also, the frying/pan searing, allows much of the fat to come out in the pan so if you're cooking them part of the time or reheating in a sauce, you won't have as much saturated fat from the meatball going into the sauce. The "poaching" method will result in a much fattier sauce.
I do a ground Turkey meat ball for our annual holiday party that is always a big winner.
2 LB Tube Turkey (yep the cheapest meat you can get)
1 Cup Pecorino Romano
1 Head Garlic minced finely and fried until lightly brown
3 T Balsamic
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 t worcestershire
6 T Oregano
1 t salt
1 T crushed red pepper
roll them out fry them in evoo until browned on all sides
bake them (yes i know Alton doesn't like it but in a good quality tomato sauce)
I don't use a recipe either, but what I learned from my Italian neighbor is this:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
2-3 slices of day old bread soaked in milk, then blend that into mush and mixed with 1 egg
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
minced parsley (probably about 1/3 cup)
She doesn't bake or fry hers, she just drops them into a huge pot of sauce and let's them cook in that.
You can also use Italian sausage with the ground beef. I do this on occasion. I don't ever use a recipe, just bread pummled with some milk, the ground meat, parm. cheese, finely chopped onion, parsley, fresh garlic, fresh basil and egg. I have always baked mine on a cookie sheet.
If you decide to cook your meatballs in sauce, please make sure you sauce is extra thick. The fat from the meat thins the sauce.
i don't have a recipe because i never measure, but the best meatballs i've ever made contain the following:
1/2 ground beef 1/2 ground pork
grated parmesan cheese
fresh french bread pulsed until coarse in food processor
fresh garlic chopped
fresh basil chopped
fresh oregano chopped
salt and pepper
mix together. when making the balls use light hands - don't pack them too densely.
fry the balls in hot olive oil until you have a nice brown crust on all sides. drop into tomato sauce to finish cooking - about 30 minutes.
the grated onion and grated parmesan kind of melt as the meatballs cook so you they stay very juicy.
Two recipes. They are both Italian and similar but both worth posting.
Anna and Frankie's meatballs (of Rao's Restaurant in NYC)
1lb. ground lean beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 small garlic clove, peeled and minced, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups breadcrumbs (homemade using two day old Italian bread, grated in the food processor. do not use store bought packaged dried bread crumbs)
2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine beef, veal and pork in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, 1 cup at a time until the mixture is quite moist. Shape the mixture into balls, (approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter)
Heat oil in a large saute pan. when oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. when bottom 1/2 or meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook top 1/2. Remove from heat and rain on paper towels.
Lower cooked meatballs into simmering marinara sauce and cook for 15 minutes.
From and old italian cookbook. These come out great and are very easy. I usually double the recipe.
1lb. ground beef (The recipe doesn't call for it but I usually use the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 formula of beef, pork and veal)
3 tbs. grated Romano (I've also used parm reg. and works great)
2 tbs. chopped parsley
6 tbs. oive oil
3 slices stale bread (use italian bread if you can)
1 clove garlic chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Soak bread in water (or milk) five minutes, squeeze dry
Mix bread with meat, slightly beaten eggs, grated cheese, garlic and parsley. Add salt and pepper. Shape into balls, roll in flour; fry in hot oil about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
I know it seems like too much egg for the amount of meat and would make the meatballs tough but it doesn't. These are really moist and tender.
I've made Rao's (Frankies) several times and they are the best texture of any meatball I have ever made. I also use store-bought bread crumbs and they come out fine so that should not deter anyone from making them. For a little zip, add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
The key to this recipe is the water. Sounds crazy but 2-2.4 pounds of meat (i use the 1/3 * 3 variety of beef, veal, pork) will absorb this amount if you place in 1 cup batches. Just work it a little. I make the balls a little under 2" in diameter. They also freeze great.
Good luck. :-)))
I use a recipe from Cuisine at Home magazine for baked meatballs. Similar spicing to the Alton Brown recipe using only ground beef or ground turkey. Form walnut size meat balls and place in a 13x9 pan. Pour a can of beef broth into the pan and back 20 minutes at 350. Drippings can be used to make a sauce for the meatballs. Very tender and juicy when baked in the broth
Has anyone tried Alton Brown's recipe for baked meatballs?
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground round
5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, lamb, ground round, spinach, cheese, egg, basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Using your hands, mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Use immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup of bread crumbs into a small bowl. Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1.5-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds, roll in the bread crumbs and place the meatballs in individual, miniature muffin tin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
1 cup cracker crumbs (Club crackers are good)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tsp dry yellow mustard
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
flour for rolling
olive oil for frying
Using your hands, mix together the eggs, cracker crumbs, milk, ground beef, mustard, cumin, salt, pepper, and onions in a large bowl until completely blended. Form mixture into large balls. Roll in flour to lightly coat and fry in olive oil until cooked through.