The results of our December 4 Meatball Throwdown at Mira’s are in, and, as it happens, we all won!
In truth, it is hard not to love a home-made meatball, but all of the efforts from that evening were just really, really good.
Of course, I am just a wee, tiny bit partial to this recipe – meatballs made of beef, pork and turkey with aromatic veggies, subtle spices, and – wait for it – home-made bread crumbs soaked in buttermilk (and so, another good reason to keep this versatile dairy product in da house).
I did a test run of this recipe, based on something I saw on last season’s The Next Food Network Star about a month ago, applied what I learned then to this batch, and am now a very happy camper.
This lightly spiced meatball works as well rolled in a bit of barbecue sauce as an appetizer as it does served over pasta with a rich and hearty red sauce (yum!).
•1 lb ground beef
•1 lb ground pork
•1 lb ground turkey
•3 onions, chopped
•3 garlic cloves, crushed
•Celery, carrot, and green pepper, diced, enough to make about 6 cups total with the onion and garlic
•1 tsp salt
•1 tsp pepper
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
•1/2 tsp granulated garlic
•Scant 1/3 cup grated parmesan
•2/3 cup breadcrumbs or panko – I used my new favorite crumb mixture, made out of sourdough and sourdough rye breads from my bread box – look for the recipe here soon
•2 cups buttermilk
Heat oven to 350º.
Run the veggies through the food processor fitted with the metal blade, then saute in olive oil for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the 3 meats together in the processor bowl and pulse to combine into a paste.
Pour the buttermilk over the breadcrumbs or panko and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Turn the finely chopped meats into a large bowl and stir in the seasonings.
Next – sorry, there is really no way around this – add in the cooled cooked veggies, the buttermilk soaked crumbs, and the grated cheese and mix with your hands until well and truly combined.
Yeh, it’ll be messy.
Now, it’s time to treat the cook – all for the sake of better foods for the peoples, of course! Scoop a bit of the meatball mixture out and sauté in a hot frying pan until done.
Taste your tester ball and correct the seasoning, if needed. I meant for this batch meatballs to be lightly seasoned, so’s I could use the completed meatballs in more than just a red sauce (think a crockpot full of barbecue sauce, or that tasty grape jelly/chili sauce thing most folk make with the frozen meatballs from who-knows-where filled with who-knows-what from the market).
My taste confirmed that these were good, but needed a little sumpin’ sumpin’, so I added that bit of crushed red pepper and the granulated garlic and was pleased.
Seasoning corrected, let’s make these! I normally use a 1 tablespoon scoop to make my meatballs; but for the throwdown, I used a 2 tablespoon measure and got about 30.
Apply a bit of cooking spray to a foil-lined baking pan and arrange the meatballs evenly. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes, then turn the meatballs over and pop back into the oven for another 15 or 20. Turn again and bake another 5 or 10 minutes, if needed.
The only problem is that I’ve used up this entire batch!
I guess I have another project to add to my weekend.