Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spaghetti & Meatballs

On a random whim I decided to create the perfect meatball (well what I would consider perfect).
My first attempt was based on a combination of recipes/tips from my co-worker Paulette, my associate Phil, and Joe's mom.

I went with the follow proportions for the meatballs:
  • 3/4 lb ground beef (85/15) and 1/4 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced finely, but not quite minced)
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2t salt & 1T pepper
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
I mixed all the ingredients together, formed meatballs (about 1 in. in diameter) and then baked them at 400°F for 20 minutes. Then, I cooked them in sauce all day (sauce will be a post for another day).

Meatballs had a little too much sausage flavor and the meatballs weren't as moist as I had hoped so tonight I made a little adjustment to my recipe.

Instead of sausage, I changed the meat proportion to 2/3 lb of ground beef (90/10) and 1/2 lb of ground pork. I stole a trick from Japanese hambagu making and soaked 1 cup of panko bread crumbs in about 1/3 cup of milk. Then I sauteed a whole medium onions (minced/diced) with 3 cloves of minced garlic and added it to the panko/milk mixture. I mixed everything but the meat together and then added the meat at the end. I went 23 minutes instead of 20 to give it more of a crust.

I have yet to try it after it's been simmering in sauce, but Joe and I tried a meatball to see if there was any improvement from the previous iteration, and we decided it was better! I think we enjoy the addition of pork flavor, but prefer it in the form of ground pork vs. sausage. Also the panko/milk and sauteed onion/garlic trick was perfect as it really improved the texture. A little more adjustment in seasoning and I think I'll have my perfect meatball.

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