Friday, July 13, 2012
Since I've been on the topic of my culinary New Year's Resolutions, I was reminded that one of them was to master meatballs.
For some reason, the ability to craft these delectable orbs has eluded me for decades. Mine were either too mushy, too dry, lacking flavor, falling apart, overly seasoned--I simply never struck the correct balance. It was just last week that I managed an affirmatively good version, earning even the approval of my very discriminating daughter. My son, on the other hand, never met a hunk of ground beef he didn't like, so my trials and errors never went to waste.
I recalled the seemingly unorthodox but very sound meatloaf advice from Down Home Diner's Chef Jack McDavid--to use a dough hook for thorough distribution and emulsification of the fat and flavors. Figuring the principle was the same with meatballs, I used his method. And it worked!
Here's what I did.....
For the meatballs:
This made about 2 dozen.
2 1/2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped garlic (I used the jarred stuff and it worked beautifully--use less if fresh)
2 cups Italian style seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup beef broth or water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Blend all ingredients thoroughly, using dough hook if possible. With wet hands, form the mixture into firmly packed balls approx 1 1/2 inches in diameter and drop them into simmering marinara sauce. Cook on low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over pasta, on sandwiches, or solo. (These also freeze really well.)
Ok, next resolution.....It's only July.