Monday, September 3, 2012

I never liked meatballs...

... when I was a kid.

My mom made Swedish Meatballs, whatever that means. They were dense and tough and flavorless. Basically over-cooked hamburger.

Then a while ago I picked up a Bon Appetit which featured Italian classics and I decided to give the meatball another chance. Spaghetti and meatballs, they were pretty good.

I kept experimenting and found that a panade, milk and bread, was a good method for making moist tender meatballs (it also works for meatloaf). Then with a bit more experimentation I made...

Meatballs to die for!

No, really, it's the texture that makes these so good. And there's no better way to experience this than the deli classic; Meatball Sandwiches!


2 lb hamburger 80-85% lean
1 lb italian sausage
2 cups panko
1 cup milk
1 egg

Stir the milk and egg together then add to the panko, set aside. Spread the hamburger out and insert plugs of italian sausage thruout. Then add the softened panko mixture to the meat and mix with your hands thoroughly.

Shape into about 24-30 meatballs onto a baking sheet with a little olive oil. Then broil until well browned on both sides and let them cool. They will not be completely cooked, that's fine.

At this point, I bag them 6 to a bag and freeze them for Spaghetti and Meatballs or...


You probably noticed that the meatballs have no aromatics or spices, except for the italian sausage. I used to use sauce from a jar, but it always tasted like a bunch of stuff that had been together for too long. So I switched to:

Simple Marinara

You can make this in any quantity, but it's always best freshly made.

Saute some chopped onion in olive oil, then add minced garlic. Sprinkle some italian seasoning onto the hot oil and let it bloom, then add canned tomato sauce, that's it. Red pepper flakes may be used to give it some kick.

Simmer for at least 30minutes. This is the base recipe, it's perfect for Meatball Sandwiches. If I want to do something more up-scale I add mushrooms, red wine, fresh basil, you get the picture.

Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover and let simmer for another 30 minutes rolling them around in the sauce a coupe of times.

On to the sandwiches!

Get some decent bread, don't waste these on hot dog buns. The picture shows mini-baguettes.

Any way, hollow out the rolls a bit to make room for the meatballs. Either toast the rolls open face or nuke them with a slice of provolone on the bottom for 10-15 seconds.

place the meatballs onto the rolls, then spoon the sauce over. Top with grated parmesan and serve with a green salad.

love and bacon,