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meatballs with a hard outer layer

I'd like to make a batch of meatballs with a bit of a crisp or hard outer layer...perhaps "shell" is a bit too much but something with a distinctly different texture from the inside. what can I do...roll them in flour and bake them? use bread crumbs? Any suggestions? Append a good meatball recipe also if you like.

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  1. Yes, you'd have to bake or fry the meatballs in advance of cooking them in the sauce.

    1. I make bite-sized, lazy meatballs: 1lb ground meat per egg, mixed with spices (garlic, onions or chives, cayenne pepper), blended with hand, rolled into 1" balls, put onto a flat griddle, and broiled in the oven (low will produce a better char, high will cook them through faster without much char). I never add breadcrumbs.

      If you had a deep fryer, I'm sure you can batter and fry them too. Not my favourite, though.

      Just a thought--how about wrapping them in chicken skin (before broiling or baking) or wonton skins (after cooking, wrap and pan fry or spray and bake until crisp)?

      1. I bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet. Easier than frying in batches. I use the Joy of Cooking's meatball recipes, (the german meatball with modifications), or Julia Child's meatloaf recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Felixnot

          I prefer baking, too - but mine come out tender on the outside. I'd pan-fry for a crust.

        2. look for a recipe for belgian bitterballen......

          1. bread crumbs would work but for a real crunch - roll meatball in flour then in egg, then in small cubed bread. Just like bread crumbs but with more structure and a bit of moisture left. Then deep fry - you will have crunchy outside and meatball inside , just like doing a shrimp ball.
            Rolling in flour and browning will give a crisper result as well and more along the lines of a traditional meatball. Not as dramatic as above, but more recognizable as a meatball.

            1. I agree with the other posters about the bread crumbs and the baking. I use to pan-fry my meatballs for years and one day I got lazy and decided to bake them at a really high temp. I actually liked the crust that formed better than the pan frying.

              1 Reply
              1. re: krisrishere

                I've started baking mine too, but I prefer them without a crust. If you do want a crust, I'd roll them in flour or bread crumbs and then pan-fry.

              2. I'd skip the rolling in flour and/or bread crumbs and/or egg because those are far easier to burn than the meat itself. I would suggest simply pan searing them over medium heat in batches. I find the oven method convenient but the pan method is far tastier.

                1. made me think of fried kibbeh balls. crusty shell of meat combined with bulgur wheat http://blog.sigsiv.com/2007/03/fried-...

                  here's a baked version: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/18072...

                  1. Thanks for all the ideas. I ended up rolling them in flour, dipping in egg and then bread crumbs, and then baking. They came out great, very moist inside and a nice firm outer layer.