This is pretty short and sweet. The misunderstood meatball, those semi-soggy, oddly-flavored things of meat we sometimes find floating in a store bought marinara sauce or dripping with a gravy of sorts.
Really sounds appetizing, doesn’t it. Well, it can be, even if you do use that store bought marinara sauce. The secret is in the meat. Good meat has good flavor on its own. Why try to disguise it with some brown stuff or bury it under the spaghetti. ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ according to Patrick Swayze. Your meatballs shouldn’t sit in shame either.
We try to grind most of the meat ourselves, but depending on what we are working with concessions can be made. Our meatballs are made with a blend of good beef, pork and elk, sometimes a little lamb finds it way into the mix. Generally a 2 part beef, 1 part pork and 1 part elk. Mix it up and add just the right amount of salt, we also add pepper.
I left you hanging with the just the right amount statement, but it depends on taste and volume. Taste, WHAT you want me to taste this bowl of ground, raw meat. Yes I do, but first make some very little patties, just one or two and fry them. Then taste them before you adjust your seasoning. These are little 1 inch patties.
We then make a couple of hundred 1 inch meatballs, bake them till just barely done. 10 to 15 minutes in a 350° oven. We also cook them on cooling racks so the fat will drip away.
After cooling we vacuum freeze them 18 to a bag. We like the meatballs to be on the small side, this allows them to participate in many dishes, especially soups. With good quality and mix of meats they can proudly stand on their own .
What we have now are meatballs that add another delicious layer to the dish they are added to. We use them in dishes from spaghetti to lemon grass soup.
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