Nearly every culture and cuisine around the world has it’s own traditional version of the meatball.This classic dish is extremely versatile and can be adapted to fit almost any lifestyle or dietary restriction, making it an excellent choice to serve at parties or large gatherings.
There are even tasty and delicious vegetarian and fish ‘meatball’ recipes!
How to Make a Great Meatball:
Pre-cook and cool any vegetables that will be added to your meatballs. The meatballs will not cook long enough for raw vegetables to become tender.
When making your meatball mix, combine all of the other ingredients before adding the meat so that you handle the meat as little as possible.
Try not to overmix your meatballs. Mix just until the meatball mix comes together so that your meatballs do not become tough.
Chill your meatball mix for at least one hour before forming it into balls.
Wet your hands with cold water before using them to form the meatballs. This will keep the meatball mix cool and stop it from sticking to your hands.
You have a few options for forming your meatballs into the perfect shape for your recipe:
Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to divide your meatballs into equal and consistent portions.
Use your hands to pack and roll your meatballs into the right size.
Pat the meatball mixture into a rectangle. Use a knife to cut the mixture into squares, like you would if you were cutting bar cookies.
There are a variety of techniques you can use to cook your meatballs. Try:
Browning them in oil: Only move them when they have released from the pan. If you try to move them too much, they will fall apart.
Baking: This method requires the least attention, allowing you to do other things while they cook. Just be sure that your meatballs bake long enough to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Braising them in liquid, sauce, or soup: Be sure to choose a meat that is low in fat so that your sauce or soup does not become greasy.
Make meatballs ahead of time and freeze them.
You could make one batch or many batches.
Follow your favorite recipe to prepare your meatballs, then allow them to cool completely.
Freeze them in a single layer on a sheet tray. Once the meatballs are completely frozen, move them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
Be sure to use your meatballs within 3 months of freezing them.
When you are ready to enjoy your meatballs, simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave at low power.
Serve your meatballs with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, in a pita bread pocket, or on a submarine sandwich.
For delicious, gluten-free Italian meatballs, use parmesan cheese instead of breadcrumbs to hold your meatballs together.
Throw a meatball party:
Serve meatballs as the main dish for your next party.
Prepare three types of meatballs and three sauces.
Set up a buffet and allow your guests to mix-and-match meatballs and sauces to create their favorite combination.
Offer your guests submarine rolls, garlic bread, rice, or a short cut pasta to serve as the base for their meatballs. Even though Italian meatballs are traditionally served with spaghetti, this can be difficult and messy to enjoy at a party.
For guests who are on a gluten-free diet, offer baked or mashed potatoes as the base for their meatballs.
Carry out the “ball” theme to dessert by offering a ball-style cookie or peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate.
Instead of preparing all of the meatballs and sauces yourself, ask a few of your guests to prepare and share their family’s favorite meatball recipe. Just be sure to make your contributing chefs aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies so that the meatballs can be properly labelled.
Make the meatballs bite-sized so your guests can enjoy a variety of meatball flavors without feeling overly full.
Try to serve your meatballs in a shallow dish so that guests do not burn their hands when serving themselves.
Beef and Pork Meatballs: