Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Eliza's Meatballs (and Grandma's secret)

This recipe is derived from my 90 year old Sicilian grandmother in Brooklyn.  She says, "Do NOT use lean ground meat."  I... use lean ground meat.  So? I'm not a die hard meatballer. 

Sweet picture coming soon, promise!

BESIDES, this recipe ain't so much about the ingredients as it is about TECHNIQUE. So, make sure you read the instructions before you go all crazy mashing meat together.

Let's get meatBALLing, YO! 

1 pound ground beef
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
3 heaping Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 heaping Tbsp bread crumb
1/2 cup water (and more as needed)
Heat up a batch of your favorite marinara sauce in a huge pot. (This is my recipe).  Heat the oven to 375.
Put beef, eggs, herbs, cheese, breadcrumb and water in a bowl and mix. Do NOT squeeze or mash or kneed the meat.  Use a fork and keep it light and fluffy and crumbly.  If you need to use a food processor to do the mixing you can't go wrong with that.  I use my hands. 
Here is Grandma's SECRET... Water.  Keep a bowl of water on the table and keep your hands wet when making each ball.  Make equal size tennis balls of meat for even cooking.  You have to 'pinch' any holes or cracks using extra water to glue them closed.  DO NOT squish the meat together all rough between your two beastly hands.  This is a gentle process.  We want to the balls to melt in your mouth.  Water is the key, but not TOO much or the balls will break apart too easily in the sauce.
Spray a large cookie sheet with  non-stick spray and lay your balls out on it.  They go in the hot oven for like 8 mins, then flip them over and cook for another 8 mins.  Then straight into the pot of marinara even if they aren't fully cooked through.  Doesn't matter.  My grandma just throws them raw into the pot.  I have had bad experiences with doing it her way.  I gotta get them started in the oven. 
Cook them in the sauce for like an hour on medium.  Remember to stir up the bottom so it won't burn.  Some balls will break during this process.  
Yeeer gonna love it!
*Grandma also broils up Italian sausage and throws it in the sauce.  It's outrageous.  
Don't forget to let me know how much you love it!


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