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Meaty, Juicy & Tender Meatballs

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You know what I need? I need more freezer space. The current freezer Mr. V and I have right now is the regular refrigerator freezer. Who finds that small little space sufficient? Ants? Bees? I bet if ants and bees own refrigerator freezers and master the skill to speak, they’d start yapping about the lack of space like me. That and about their queens.

Why do I need more freezer space? To store my balls. Meatballs people, meatballs. Geez louise.

I blame this on my self-diagnosed, mild but very present hoarding disorder. You could also say I’m efficient, smart or lazy. Whichever applies to you. Whatever makes you happy.

When I make meatballs, I make enough to feed all my ancestors, five generations above. I’m already making them, so why not make more at the same time. Besides, meatballs are super versatile, be it in sandwiches, spaghetti, toss them in any sauces, or Ikea-fy them. Meatballs freeze really well for a good part of the year too which brings me back to my problem.

I need a new freezer. Stat.

Quick Recipe         Makes about thirty 1 1/2″ in diameter meatballs

what you need:

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tbs water
1 small onion, finely (and I mean finely) diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 large egg
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp all spice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk yogurt and water together. Add the breadcrumbs and let soak for 10 minutes.

2. Over medium high heat, add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another couple minutes. Let them cool.

3. When onion mixture has cooled, add them and the remaining ingredients to the soaked breadcrumbs.

4. Using your hands, gently fold the mixture to incorporate everything. Try not to overwork the mixture. Full pieces of ground meat should still be visible.

5. Take a small piece and fry it in a pan. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Preheat the oven to 500 F. With wet hands, gently shape your meatballs. Don’t squeeze or compact them when shaping or they may turn rubbery or chewy. Keep the size as consistent as you can so they cook evenly.

7. In a greased baking sheet, place the meatballs about 3/4″ – 1″ from each other. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Broil them the last couple of minutes if you want them a little more charred or brown.

Notes:

1. Ingredients:

a. Eggs: They act as a binder to bind all the meat, bread, spices.. basically everything.

b. Breadcrumbs: Meatballs are not all about the meat. Breadcrumbs help add moisture that keeps meatballs juicy and soft. See how I made breadcrumbs in less than 30 seconds.

c. Salt and herbs: These are necessary even if you plan to braise the meatballs in a good sauce. They need to be seasoned period.

d. Texture: If want like softer meatballs, increase breadcrumbs to 1 cup, yogurt to 1/2 cup and water to 1/2 cup for this recipe.

2. Fillings:

a. You can add 1/2 – 1 cup finely chopped vegetables or cheese if you desire.

b. I like my meatballs just plain beef. You can mix in sausages, pork, veal or chicken. Anything works.

3. Baking:

a. While I bake one batch, I shape the second. The same applies for the third batch and so on so forth.

b. Sear the meat in a pan if you’re up for it. I don’t like the work nor the mess.

c. To braise the meatballs, put them in the braising liquid and simmer. 20 minutes is pretty good to get the flavor into the meatballs. Don’t worry about overcooking the meatballs. They won’t since they’re sitting in liquid.

d. Thaw meatballs in the refrigerator the night before and your meal will be ready in a jiffy the next day.

e. If you shape the meatballs smaller or bigger than 1 1/2″ in diameter, adjust the bake time accordingly or it may become under cooked or overcooked (may even burn at the bottom).

My last post: Breadcrumbs from bread ends and crusts

What do you hoard?

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