Tasty Tuesdays – Meatballs!

Meatballs

 

Who doesn’t love a good meatball?  Many stores sell them for convenience but you can make these at home with a little time and patience.  They are fun to make and easy for any kind of cook.

My meatballs in this picture were made using healthy organic ground beef, but you can make it with ground turkey, ground chicken, pork, vegetarian meat, lamb – whatever you fancy.  I know some prefer to mix different kinds of meat together, usually beef and pork.  You do what feels right.

This time I used thawed ground beef and threw in my usual suspects: salt, black pepper, basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic, finely chopped onions, finely chopped green peppers, some Italian bread crumbs and 1 egg.  Mix all that together in a bowl with my hands.  You can use a spoon if you like but it mixes better in your hands.  Once everything is blended well, just start rolling the balls.  I made 1 inch meat balls, as you can see in the pain.  Take your time in rolling them.  If you feel the meatball coming together is too big, it probably is too big.  Pinch off a small amount and start the rolling process over again until it is the size you prefer.

Remember:  The bigger the balls the longer it will take to cook.

Warm up a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.  When you are ready to place the meatballs in the pan, turn the heat down to medium low.  This is the setting you will cook them on for their duration.  Once all of them are in the pan (they can be touching each other) cover with a lid and check on them every 3 minutes turning them with a kitchen tong.  It will take 30-35  minutes to cook them completely.

Please do not consume raw or under-cooked meat!

At this point you can either put them in the oven covered with sauce for another 20 minutes or set them aside while the sauce is finishing cooking.  Either way, they are super delicious, and great with spaghetti!

Total time to make these: 50 minutes – Don’t forget, this is a great group activity or something fun you can do with your kids.  Teaching them how to cook, but also portion control.

Recipe Options:  If you are using vegetarian meat and want to maintain a vegan meatball, you can use cornstarch in the mix to help bind everything together instead of an egg.  With cornstarch, a little goes a long way so start small (¼ teaspoon).  Also, when using the veggie meat, add a small amount of tomato paste as well (½ teaspoon for one pound of the vegetarian option) to help bind things together.  If you are using chicken or ground turkey, remember those meats are a lot lower in fat so you may have to add more olive oil to the frying pan to maintain the moisture of the meatball as its cooking.  Always use a cover when cooking these.  It helps lock in moisture and flavor, and doesn’t try things out before it hits your plate.

Start utilizing the ease of homemade dishes for you, your friends, and family.  It’s healthy and encourages time spent together.

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