meaty meatball delights


Most of my friends are married or live with significant others ... or if you are my sister are in a significant relationship with a cat. To each his own right?

Anyway. 

One of my favorite meals to single aka eat alone is meatballs. Specifically frozen ones from my freezer.

I tend to come home ravenous and need quick meals. There is nothing more satisfying than tossing a few meatballs in the microwave, saucing them a bit, and glittering them with some parmesan cheese. I'm pretty sure I never eat without my legs curled up under me. It's heaven.

I always like to have a bag of balls in my freezer and in the past few months ... I've been making my own. And, if I say so myself.... they are delish.

In fact, I actually made these for the first time back in April .... and just hadn't documented it yet. I got occupied going to NYC, enjoying floral class, or savoring summer. But, since summer appears to be leaving us and fall is approaching... all I can think about is chili and as a result, meatballs. Specifically how amazing and salty these ones are. 

A few tricks for meatballs:

  • Just like cookies, universalize sizing makes cooking much easier. I used an ice cream scoop and it was perfect. Yep, ice cream.
  • Pan frying meatballs is far more work that I'd like to engage in. I recommend cooking these suckers in cupcake trays. It's the perfect solution for keeping their shape. Plus, there is no risk of a meatball rolling off the cookie sheet.
  • Make extras. You will not regret it.

This recipe makes 28 meatballs ... and based on my average 4-5 meatballs a serving that will last you 5-6 meals. Unless you were like me and ate 2 of these suckers straight from the pan because they were so amazing. I believe the secret ingredient is the pancetta.

I'm all for limiting cleaning and mess so I pretty made this in one bowl. I'm sure that some fancy meatball lady would request you mix eggs separately or soak the panko crumbs in milk... but whatever. Do you like doing dishes? I don't.

(Step 1) Get a big bowl and scramble your eggs in it. Then add in the onion and garlic and parsley. It's worth the effort to chop well here... you probably don't want a bite containing sizable chunks of garlic or parsley. Keep that in mind

(Step 2) I'm sure you don't need to pre-cook the pancetta but for some reason I like to. So, this is where I diced up the pancetta and toss it in a skillet until it's just a tad bit cooked. Maybe, you aren't as weird as I am and you just dice it up and toss it in your bowl.

(Step 3) Add in your milk, salt, pepper, and panko crumbs. The reason I add all of these other ingredients before the ground meat portion is because I feel like its sometimes hard to ensure that pancetta will get in every bite ... and I fundamentally care a whole lot about getting pancetta and other meatball bits in every ball.

(Step 4) Add in your ground beef (meat and veal) into the big bowl and give it a good mix with your hands. Unless you live in the North End and you get the meat ground as a blend, it'll be pretty obvious based on color whether or not you have blended well.

(Step 5) Roll the delightful meaty mixture into even sized balls and place them into the mini muffin pans. The meat will give off enough grease (that's hot right?) that you don't need to grease the pans.

(Step 6) Cook the meatballs at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.

And yes, that is a sizeable hunk of pancetta you see in that ball. Nom on that.

Shopping List
1/2 c Panko crumbs
1/4 c milk
1 medium onion diced
2 eggs
5 cloves of garlic minced
salt & pepper
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground beef
1/3 lb thick slice of pancetta
1/4 cup of grated parmesan

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