Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Basic Homemade Meatballs

A great, no-frills, meatball that can be used in casseroles, on sandwiches, for spaghetti and meatballs, and of course, our fabulously loved grape jelly meatballs.
A great, no-frills, meatball that can be used in casseroles, on sandwiches, for spaghetti and meatballs, and of course, our fabulously loved grape jelly meatballs.

Basic Homemade Meatballs

This is my favorite basic meatball recipe that I have been using since I started cooking, and the same one I use when I make my spaghetti with meatballs, and those famous grape jelly meatballs that we southerners are so endeared to.  It is a very basic meatball recipe that you can use for sandwiches and even for casseroles, though you can certainly jazz them up by adding whatever extras you like. I prefer them simple with very basic seasonings.

This is a perfect recipe for freezer meatballs too. Simply multiply the ingredients as needed, prepare, let cool and flash freeze on a greased baking sheet. Once frozen, pop 24 meatballs into zippered freezer bags and place into freezer until needed and use them for everything - spaghetti and meatballs, meatball po'boys, casseroles, sweet and sour meatballs, for meatball stroganoff, all your favorites.

Here's how to make them.

If baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the one pound of ground beef, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 1/3 cup of onion that has been finely minced, 1/4 cup of milk, one large egg, one tablespoon of parsley, one teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. An 80/20 blend of ground beef is the best tasting. Gently shape into 1-inch balls.

I like to use a medium cookie scoop to extract the meat so that the meatballs will be fairly uniform. Run your fingers around the edges of the scoop to knock off the extra meat. Then dump the scoop into your hand.

Then just roll the meat into a ball.  You'll get about 24 meatballs out of a pound of ground beef using the small scoop.

From here it's just cooking them! Pan frying is more traditional than baking, but baking is easier and less messy if you ask me, so I usually bake them. If baking, place on a baking sheet that has been coated with non-stick spray, and bake on the center rack of the oven, for about 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees, turning once halfway through. If cooking in a skillet, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs, and set aside.

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Recipe: Basic Homemade Meatballs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min

Total time: 45 min
Yield: About 24 meatballs

  • 1 pound (80/20) lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (regular or Italian)
  • 1/3 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, more or less, as needed (omit if baking)

If baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, milk, egg, parsley, salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Using a 1-1/2 to 2 inch scoop, place portions on baking pan. Lightly coat hands with oil then gently shape each scoop into 1-inch balls.

Bake on the center rack of oven, for about 25 to 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. If cooking in a skillet, heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the meatballs, turning to brown on all sides. Set aside to cool. Place into sauce or freeze. Makes about 24 meatballs, depending on size.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs: Prepare as above, except press a deep indentation into the meatballs after shaping. Stuff each meatball with the cherry sized fresh mozzarella balls and wrap meatball around them to completely cover. Finish as above.

Cook's Notes: I like to use a medium cookie scoop (about 1-1/2 tablespoons) to keep the meatballs uniform in size and then roll the meat into a ball.

To Freeze: Allow meatballs to cool completely, then transfer to a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with non-stick spray. Place into the freezer until frozen, then transfer to a freezer bag.

To Air Fry: Preheat air fryer at 380 degrees F for 3 minutes. Lightly spray basket and place a batch of meatballs in basket, leaving plenty of room between each. Cook about 11 minutes, shaking and turning several times, adding 1/4 cup water in bottom of tray to control any smoking. Continue in batches. Add all the meatballs back into the cooker and cook for 1 minute longer to warm through. To see my favorite oil sprayer click here.

Makes about 24 meatballs.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on March 24, 2009

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