Friday, January 8, 2010

We Be A-Makin' Da Meat-A Balls Today

When we had the restaurant, we made our meat balls for the spaghetti sauce from scratch. During the summer when it was so busy we had a hard time keeping ahead on the food, we had a gal who came in for two hours every morning (before her regular job, bless her heart) to help us prep for the day. Most days she found "Make Meat Balls" on the list waiting for her. She quickly dubbed herself "The Meat Ball Queen" and actually became quite proud of her nicely shaped, uniformly sized meat balls.

Every now and then I make a batch of those same meat balls and squirrel them away in the freezer. Then I can easily take out how ever many I need for Barbequed Meat Balls, Meat Balls in Gravy, Spaghetti Sauce, etc.

They smell wonderful when cooking and the aroma stayed in my kitchen all day today. Wish I had a gourmet-ish name for them. But they're just:


Soak four slices of dry bread in water for about 2-3 minutes.

With your hands, squeeze out all the water you can from the bread, drop into a mixing bowl and break apart the clumps of wet bread with your fingers.

Then add all the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the bread.

1 lb. ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients until well blended.
Form balls of approximately 1-1/2 ounces each by rolling a small amount of mixture between your hands.

Place the balls on racks that have been placed on a cookie sheet with a lip.

Bake meat balls in a 500° oven for 20 minutes.

When meat balls finish baking, remove from oven and cool or use immediately.

After they have cooled, freeze any remainders for future use.

Notes: When removing the meat balls from the oven, I take a spatula and loosen the hot meat balls from the racks. Sometimes they tend to settle down into the racks but if you loosen them when they're hot, they come right off.

These meat balls aren't highly seasoned or spicy but you certainly could add whatever "zing" you wanted to them.

I usually do twice this amount at a time (just double everything in the above recipe) but I had a pound of ground beef defrosted that I had planned on using tonight (then had a change of plans) so I made only a one-pound batch this time around.

Getting these meat balls made today was about the only planned project I got accomplished.

I shan't repeat it here, but if you wish to read more of how things have been going lately, go over to my quilting blog where I'm afraid I went on and on about the little struggles and diffooculties we've been battling lately.

One other thing I did do was to make it to the library today so now I'm going to go take a hot shower, throw an extra quilt on the bed, and snuggle down with a new book.


Erin said...

Yum! Meatballs are a pain to make right before dinner so I make them ahead and freeze gallon bags of them. My favorite is Swedish Meatballs - but hey, I'm from MN and my favorite place is IKEA so go figure....

Jennifer Jo said...

I just made two kinds of meatballs yesterday. My main recipe is similar to yours, expect I add lemon zest, and saute onion and garlic in oil before adding it to the meat. It's delish.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Erin - For being SUCH a Minnesota girl, you've done an excellent job of growing where you've been (temporarily) planted! :o)

Hey, Mama JJ - Thinking of the size of your crew, you must go through A LOTTA meat balls! I think my meat ball recipe must be one of the few things I make without onions! Maybe the garlic counts a little bit though.

Erin said...

Ha! You have inspired me to make Swedish Meatballs & Noodles tonight! Hubby will be so glad when he gets home tonight. It's one of his favorites (can you believe he had never had them before he met me?) and he is works outside on the flight line all day so he will be cold and hungry when he gets home tonight. Just looked and all I had was ground venison and ground beef so I will be combining those... it's always different shopping from the freezer instead of the store! (I call it my preparation for being miles away from stores someday...)

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Also being super self-sufficient! Learning to make do with what we have on hand. Unfortunately, not many homemakers these days even know HOW to cook. (What am I saying? There aren't even many homemakers (period!) anymore. (Boy, am I cranky today or what?)

What time will dinner be ready tonight? I'll bring a pie for dessert.

Erin said...

hahaha, dinner will be at 5 tonight... you can bring some RHUBARB pie, since that is the one northern fascination that I never did quite get.... maybe I just haven't tried the right rhubarb!

Mama Pea said...

Oh, Erin, you have no idea how much I love rhubarb! I have a really good plant that I will be glad to give you half of when you and your family "retire" up here in the northern climes. (Dang, now I'm starting to salivate for some FRESH rhubarb!)

RuthieJ said...

Thanks for another great recipe Mama Pea!

Mama Pea said...

You're so welcome, Ruthie. Hope you can use it!