Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Baked Meatballs

I took this recipe from Alton Brown. I love the flavor created by the three types of meat that are used. If you have an affinity to lamb, you can use more beef and pork as a substitute.  I personally love lamb. Lovey doesn't know there is lamb in these. Lovey doesn't care for lamb but he gobbles these up. Perhaps he only thinks he doesn't like lamb.

I doubled Alton Brown's recipe so I could freeze them and have them on hand for a last minute supperNow that I'm cooking for Papa (my father-in-law), convenience is a nicety. If you are not planning on freezing any I would recommend halving the recipe.

The meatballs will be flavored by these: Parmesan, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic salt, and red paper flakes


These ingredients will add texture and binding: thawed and squeezed frozen spinach, lightly beaten eggs, and bread crumbs. The bread crumbs are divided in half; one half mixed in with the meat mixture and the other half for coating.

In a large mixing bowl combine your three meats: pork, lamb, and ground chuck.

Once the meats are lightly combined, add the flavorings and binders and mix until incorporated.

Just a note on mixing and shaping.  When you are mixing all of your ingredients, use your hands (I use gloves) and mix with your fingers gently until everything is incorporated.  Don't squeeze like your squishing the heck out of a piece of play dough; you don't want the mixture to be compacted.

Cover the bowl and set the meat mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour
 After the meat mixture has rested, form into 1-1/2 ounce balls (1 fluid ounce volume scoop) and set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Gently roll each portion into a ball .  Remember, you don't want a rock hard, compacted piece of meat!

In a small bowl place the remaining amount of bread crumbs. One meatball at a time, gently toss in the crumbs to lightly coat.

Place each breaded meatball in the cup of a mini cupcake tin. 

Bake at 400° for about 20 minutes; drain on a paper towel.

At this point you can add to spaghetti sauce or make a meatball sub.

If freezing, place the drained meatballs on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in freezer.  Once frozen solid, place meatballs in a plastic freezer bag.

Very easy procedure:  measure & mix, weigh & shape, roll & coat, bake & drain.


Adapted from Alton Brown
Yields approximately 40 meatballs

2 - 5 ounce packages chopped frozen spinach
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. Lawry's Garlic Salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup dried bread crumbs, divided
2 eggs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground round or chuck
1 pound ground lamb

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Thaw spinach and squeeze out all the liquid that you can.
Grate the Parmesan and measure out the parsley, basil, garlic salt and red pepper flakes.
Divide the bread crumbs in half. 
Lightly beat the eggs.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly combine the three meats.

Add the spinach, Parmesan, parsley, basil, garlic salt, pepper flakes, 1/2 cup bread crumbs and eggs to the meat mixture. With your fingers, mix all the ingredients. Avoid 'squishing' the meat together. You don't want your meat compacted. Use your fingers and combine until everything is evenly mixed.

Allow mixture to rest in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Using a food scale measure out 1-1/2 ounces of meat portions, or use a 1 fluid ounce scoop.  Place portions on a parchment lined sheet pan.  With your hands, gently roll the weighed out portions into balls.

Place each ball into the cup of a miniature muffin tin.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels. 

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