I randomly watch TV almost my entire day as I go about doing other things… cleaning, cooking, child rearing. Oh who am I kidding… The Food Network is an old standby when nothing else of interest is on. A show called ‘Chef at Home’ with Canadian Chef Michael Smith is one of the few shows that doesn’t quite grate on my nerves. His meatball recipe caught my eye a while ago and I decided to try it out. They were AMAZING. So juicy and flavourful. I’ve made them several times since and have come up with a tweaked version that I just love. What makes these little babies awesome is the breadcrumbs that have been soaked in milk and my addition – a mixture of 3 types of meat instead of just ground beef. Sorry my vegetarian friends, this recipe is strictly for meat eaters…
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
3/4 lb ground Beef
3/4 lb ground Pork
1/2 lb ground spicy Italian sausage
(around .30 kg each. You could use all beef, no pork)
1 ½ onion peeled then grated on a cheese or potato grater
6 cloves garlic finely minced
2 egg yolks
1 small bunch parsley chopped
1 cup grated parmesan optional
salt n’ pepper to taste
2 pinches of nutmeg
(picture shows recipe being halved)
Put the breadcrumbs into a small bowl and pour the milk over them. Stir to combine then set aside the mixture until the crumbs have absorbed all the milk. It will look like baby food. The wet breadcrumbs keep the meatball unbelievably moist!
Place all of the ground meat (the spicy Italian sausage is a must!) into a large bowl and add the grated onion, minced garlic and egg yolk, parmesan. Add the breadcrumb mixture, nutmeg and parsley. Season with salt (around 1 teaspoon), pepper and nutmeg and mix well with your hands.
Form into 1.5 inch large meatballs.
Pre-heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot add a splash of olive oil (or garlic con fit), enough to cover the bottom. Add the meatballs!
Patiently sear them until they are well browned on all sides, turning every few minutes. I lean them up against each other when I get to browning the sides. Do your best to brown all sides, but if having trouble doing so place in a 400 degree oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until golden brown – keep your eye on them!
Drain off any excess fat and crack a can or jar of your favourite tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs have cooked through about 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling salted water, drain without rinsing.
Serve pasta with the meatballs and sauce, garlic bread and/or side salad to compliment this nicely.
This recipe is doubled up and yields 4 cups or around 34 meatballs. It can be easily halved. I like making lots as I freeze the uncooked meatballs in ZipLocks for future quick dinners. Place uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet and place in freezer until frozen (around an hour). Remove and put them in freezer bags!