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That's A Spicy Meatball!! (Not Really!!)

Andrew McQuiggen

One thing I get asked about a lot is “how do you make a good meatball?” While it isn’t a difficult thing to make, by missing a few key ingredients and/or steps you can end up with dry meaty golf balls. So what can you do to prevent this tragedy??

1) If possible use a mixture of meats, whether this means using regular ground beef and extra lean ground beef or beef and pork. The options are really up to you. This is done in order to add some fat from the meats, just using lean meats leaves you a lot less margin for error in the cooking time.

2) Season your mixture. While cooking in the oven the meatballs will lose moisture which often also means flavour, by seasoning your mixture well you’ll prevent this. This doesn’t just mean salt and pepper but also the spices you use, too much salt will also make the meatballs sweat out more moisture which is something to take note of.

3) If you plan on eating them the same day, soak your bread crumbs. A lot of the time this means using milk to moisten the breadcrumbs, but you could also use some broth or stock if you are trying to avoid dairy. The soaked bread also lets the mixture bind together better making forming the meatballs easier.

4) Don’t be afraid to get creative! I feel like I say this lots in my blogs but it is how I often learn things about cooking. I would have never known that using lamb and cumin you can make a killer spiced meatball.

Here is a simple Italian meatball recipe I use at home, they need to be cooked at 350oF for 15 minutes (spinning once halfway through). You can just mix all ingredients together and portion into ¾ ounces each.

1 lb – Regular ground beef

1 lb – Lean ground beef

¼ cup – Chopped white onion

2 each – Minced cloves of garlic

3 tbsp – Chopped fresh -parsley

2 tbsp – Dry rubbed oregano

½ cup – Bread crumbs (soaked in milk or broth)

1 tbsp – Salt

1 tbsp – Ground black pepper

Once they are cooked you can add them to a marinara sauce and allow them to stew in there for a while to really get a nice flavour.

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