back to the blog!

Meatballs!

Meatballs!

Meatballs….everyone makes them differently, and every time it is an event.  I have honed my recipe for meatballs over the years, and I never make less than 10 lbs at a time. If you are going to commit to meatballs, commit!  The added benefit is that your freezer can be stocked with the leftovers that reheat easily in case of pop-in guests or suddenly hungry children. I love serving them with Bucatini pasta and fresh grated Parmesan cheese, but they also work great on their own as a toothpick snack. The combination of meatballs and chit chat has been tested thoroughly in both my sister’s home and mine.

High-quality bread soaked in milk is the key to keeping this meatball recipe moist, and the rich flavor comes from sweet Italian sausage and Parmesan cheese. The tomatoes for the sauce are roasted and simmered before they are pureed with chicken stock. I recommend San Marzano style canned tomatoes for their sweeter, less acidic flavor. It’s a little bit of work to make this much, but your family will love you for it.  If you aren’t up for the challenge, go ahead and make half the recipe, but I guarantee you’ll be making them again, soon!

 
Meatballs are a lot of work, but they are so yummy and it is worth making a bunch and filling your freezer if you are going to go through the process. Feel free to half or quarter the recipe, just remember your family will love you for them and you will want a big glass of red with when you are finished! We like them with Bucatini pasta and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: 80 ~1½" meatballs
Ingredients
Meatballs:
  • 5 lbs. Bulk Italian sausage, sweet w/ fennel
  • 5 lbs. Ground beef
  • 1 ~20" baguette, cut in small cubes
  • 4 cups milk, 2%
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano, Greek
  • 1½ lbs. (3cups) Parmesan cheese, grated fine
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons salt, Kosher
  • pepper, ground, black
Sauce:
  • 8~ 28 oz cans San Marzano Style Tomatoes, drained, but not crushed, juice reserved
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 large springs rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, Kosher
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, julienned
  • 4 oz pancetta
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme, fresh
  • 12 cups chicken broth, homemade preferable, but not necessary
  • Reserved tomato juice (above)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt, Kosher
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano, Greek
  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • Parmesan cheese, rind
Method
Meatballs:
  1. Preheat oven 350ºF convection, 375ºF bake
  2. Place the sausage and beef in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine milk and bread. Allow to sit for 15 minutes until the bread has soaked up the majority of the milk.
  4. Combine the bread and milk mixture with the sausage, beef, oregano, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands, until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Scoop and form the mixture into 1 Tablespoon meatballs and place on parchment-lined sheet pans in batches.
  6. Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven until done, about 15 minutes. Repeat the process until all your meatballs are formed and baked.
  7. Simmer in sauce until ready to serve
  8. Cool and divide leftovers into ziplock bags and freeze.
For the Sauce:
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF convection, 425ºF bake
  2. Place tomatoes in a non-aluminum roasting pan (a turkey roasting pan works great!).
  3. Add the garlic cloves, olive oil, rosemary and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt. Place in the preheated oven and roast for 1 hour. Discard the rosemary at the end of roasting.
  4. In a large stock pot heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, pancetta and thyme; cook slowly until the onions are translucent and the pancetta rendered.
  5. Add the chicken broth, reserved tomato juice, 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt, oregano and roasted tomatoes. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce. 

5. Bring sauce to a simmer, then add the milk and Parmesan cheese rind. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently so the sauce doesn't scorch.
  6. Add meatballs!


Related Posts

Cumin Lime Grilled Chicken and Two-Bean Salad

Cumin Lime Grilled Chicken and Two-Bean Salad

Sometimes the best and simplest recipes are created when I least expect it. I didn’t have much of a plan, but opened cupboards and created this recipe for Cumin Lime Grilled Chicken with a Two Bean Avocado Salad with what I had on hand. We […]

Manchego Deviled Eggs with Tapenade

Manchego Deviled Eggs with Tapenade

Deviled eggs are amazing. As a kid, I wasn’t entirely sure I would like them. Then I had an Easter farm egg sandwich with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a touch of mayo and thought hmmm…I just might try a deviled egg! I’ve seen […]



2 thoughts on “Meatballs!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: