The Meatball Shop: Beef and Ricotta Meatballs

Tip on salting ground meat: 1 tsp kosher salt per pound.

Works out pretty well. Seeing as you can’t taste as you go…

Other random notes on meatballs: 

  1. Eggs are for binding
  2. Bread crumbs (and I am partial to panko) are for added tenderness. Crumbled unsalted saltine crackers work in a bind. In fact I prefer this when making meatloaf. Just make sure you get unsalted.
  3. Never over-mix meatballs and always use your hands, not a stand mixer. Over working meat makes it tough.
  4. Always serve with something green! A shock of green always looks pretty next to a simmering red bowl of meaty goodness. Plus it makes me feel better to have something light and healthy while eating a pound of carne.

meatball1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1.5 tbs dried parsley (or 1/2 packed cup of fresh chopped)
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp  crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 32 oz jar of tomato sauce
  • optional for serving: parmesan cheese, fresh greens, roasted carrots, roasted beets, sautéed mushrooms, or a large toasted roll with fresh greens and slices of cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients (except tomato sauce) in a large mixing bowl with your hands. Do NOT over mix as this results in a tough, crumbly meatball.
  2. Preheat oven to 450F
  3. Line a large rectangular baking pan with aluminum foil and drizzle with oil. Spread oil evenly with a finger.
  4. Roll mixture with your hands into 1.5 inch diameter meatballs. Golfball size. Line meatballs up evenly on the baking pan, so that they are touching.
  5. Bake 20 minutes.
  6. While baking, heat up tomato sauce (or make from scratch if you’ve got the time) over medium low heat in a 3-5qt pot, covered, until heated through.
  7. Remove meatballs (it’ll be a greasy mess) one by one with tongs so as to not pick up the excess fat. Place in pot. Mix to coat in sauce. Cover and continue to heat through over low heat, 15-20 minutes. Mix meatballs periodically, gently, so you don’t break them up.
  8. Roast your veggies at this time while the oven is hot. Reduce oven heat to 425F, roast 20 minutes (works for carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, what have you).
  9. Serve over fresh greens and roasted veggies, or on a toasted hoagie with sliced cheese

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