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Jun 9, 2007 08:53 PM

Meatball Flavor/ Tenderness Issue

I am finding that no matter if I use 50% beef/ 50% turkey or 100% beef or 100% turkey, the meatballs taste very meaty- or iron like. I;ve baked them in the oven, in a sauce pan with tomato sauce, and STILL, the same taste.
What type of meat do I use with trying to be health conscious (leaner and less red meat the better?

The past recipe I used
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp parm
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp oregano
1tsp salt
1 egg
and baked at 400 for 25 minutes or so.

They came out quite hard and tasted very meaty. What percentage of lean meat do I use? Any suggestions?


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  1. I would think the egg would provide enough moisture but you can add a little more via milk, cream or even water and I'm sure it will soften them up.

    1. ral217, add some warm water to your meatballs. I believe I use 1/2 cup per pound of meat. It really helps make the meatballs more tender and soft. Mix it in gently, and it will, believe it or not, soak it all up. Also, add some grated parmesan cheese to your mixture.

      1. The Sopranos have a good recipe for meatballs. The trick was to use fresh breadcrumbs and two cups of water so that the result is a light and fluffy meatball. Hopefully others can chime in with the details and recipe.

        1. I use basically the same recipe plus milk. Then pour a can of low-sodium broth over the meatballs prior to baking. After baking, add the cooking liquid to the sauce.

          1. Here is a thread that talks about the "iron" flavor
            The tenderness is a seperate problem--I have had success by soaking white fresh bread in milk/water and mushing it into a paste which I mix into the ground meat. It seems to hold on to moisture a little better than other things I've tried. 1/3 cup of milk, a slice of bread should do for one pound of meat.