There’s nothing worse than a rock solid meatball. And, there is also nothing better then a perfectly tender and juicy meatball that is bursting with fresh flavor. I love to eat at the Meatball Shop in New York City. It was created by the two mastermind ballers, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow. They grind their meat daily and compose dishes made of fresh, simple ingredients. You can pick your ball, your sauce, and side (under, or side), throw in on some crusty bread with oozy cheese or in a salad…. its magic. My favorites include The Kitchen Sink Salad, and The Meatball Smash with a family jewel. You kind of need to see it to believe it, so here’s the menu: http://www.themeatballshop.com.
My mother also makes great meatballs. She simmers them all day in sauce for dinner with crisp salad, buttered Italian bread, spaghetti, and grated Parmesan cheese. Then we always finish off the meal with a cold glass of milk. Feeling inspired, I jumped into the kitchen to make my own.
What you will need:
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 pieces of white bread, crusts cut off
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley
First, take the white bread with the crusts cut off and soak it in a cup of milk (ew, I know). Combine your meat, breadcrumbs, olive oil, egg, bread soaked in milk, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix everything together gently and thoroughly, be very careful to not over mix… you want your balls tender! Then, rolls your balls into the size of your choice and set them aside. I like to roll mine into the size between a golf ball and tennis ball.
Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with a good amount of olive oil enough to coat the bottom entirely and then some. Get your oil up to a roaring hot heat, you want to sear the outsides of your meatballs and lock in all the juices. I’m not kidding, get your oil HOT, so hot that you will be dodging the oil splattering all over your arms. This is where magic happens and golden brown balls begin their journey.
After you have just browned your meatballs on all sides pop them onto a sheet pan, the insides should still be raw. Then, put them into a 275 degree oven for about 25- 30 minutes. They will take their time to cook slowly and stay tender.
Note: cheese oozing onto sheet pan and crisping up.
Onto the sauce. DO NOT throw out your oil and crisped up bits of meatball. Scrape off all of the browned up goodness from the bottom of the pan and bring this up to a medium heat. Next, add one diced onion and cook until translucent, but not browned. Then, add one cup of chicken broth and bring up to a simmer, braising the onion your rich, meaty liquid. Now, add 2 large cans of whole peeled tomatoes, 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 table spoon of brown sugar, and a few swigs of olive oil. Mix if all together and gently start to mash and break up the tomatoes. Let this come up to a soft simmer. Then, dunk in your meatballs. Let this all cook slowly together on a low heat for up to 6 hours.
You can eat your meatballs like this ^. OR, you can take crusty bread, add your meatballs, sauce and completely smother it in mozzarella then pop it under the broiler and do THIS.