It’s been cold here in central Indiana. We needed comfort food, and Chef decided that spaghetti and meatballs fit the bill perfectly. When he told me this, I said, “Do you want me to make my meatballs?”
He replied, “Huh? You have a meatball recipe?”
“Of course!” I countered. “Every time I make them, you say how much you like them.”
“Oh. Okay,” he answered. “I don’t remember.”
Because, obviously, I don’t make meatballs terribly often. Living with a chef, we eat crazy stuff like venison curry or ugali and sukama wiki. (We also eat mundane stuff like frozen pizza and boxed mac & cheese). The point is, I forget about making spaghetti and meatballs.
However, I think I have a wonderful meatball recipe. It’s the same recipe that my mom used when I was a kid. Of course, back then, we were allowed only two meatballs per plate of spaghetti.
Now I’m a grownup and I can have all the meatballs I want! So there!
As often happens when I help cook, I completely forgot about my camera. (It is not surgically grafted to my hand as it seems to be for Pioneer Woman, who apparently takes photos of every single thing in her life.) However, I will happily share with you my recipe for meatballs, handed down to me from my mother, who photocopied it for me out of whatever cookbook she used. I suspect it was a Betty Crocker, but I can’t be certain.
1 cup bread crumbs (cracker crumbs can work in a pinch, as long as they aren’t too salty)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2 tablespooons dried parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients together. I find it works best to mix together everything except the meat, and then mix in the meat. Form into balls about the size of a golf ball. Brown the meatballs in oil. I like browning them in an iron skillet, but there aren’t really rules about what kind of skillet you have to use. (For meatballs. According to Aunt Kim all cornbread must be made in an iron skillet. But we’re talking about meatballs here.) They don’t have to be done all the way through, because after they are brown, you put them in your spaghetti sauce, which is also cooking on the stove. As the sauce cooks, the meatballs will get done all the way through. (Leave them in there for 20-30 minutes.)
I almost always use ground beef, but this particular night I used half ground venison and half ground pork sausage. The fat in the sausage eliminated the need for the eggs — it all held together nicely without the eggs. For ease, you could use a mixture of Italian herbs instead of the parsley and oregano. And I’ve never tried this with fresh herbs — only dried — but I bet that would be good, too.
Wait! How did I get a photo if I forgot to take pictures all night? That’s the power of leftovers, baby.