The Perfect Meatball

My 1.5 year old can put back a lot of meatballs! I had always given him store bought meatballs, but since he eats so many I thought it was time for me to start making them fresh.

The recipe below is the first one that I tried and it's absolutely the best! It's so basic and addictively good. The only issue is that it takes quite a while to make these so they aren't good for a weeknight dinner. However, they do freeze well so you can make a few batches ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week. Making two batches of these produced about 75 meatballs (and 2-3 hours of work).

Anne Burrell's Excellent Meatball 
A meatball stack

via Foodnetwork.com

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup water
  • Coat a large saute pan with olive oil, add the onions, and bring to a medium-high heat.
  • Season the onions generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color.
  • Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the meats, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley, and bread crumbs.
  • Squish the mixture with your hands until completely combined.
  • Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more.
  • Add the water and do a final squish. The mixture should be quite wet.
  • Test the seasoning of the mix by making a mini hamburger size patty and cooking it. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  • Shape the meat into desired size.
  • Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat.
  • Brown the meatballs on all sides, and then place them on a cookie sheet.
  • Put the cookie sheet in the oven, and then bake for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
Due to my son's allergies, I have experimented with this recipe a few times. No matter what I omitted (such as cheese and eggs), these meatballs turned out good - though, the original recipe is best!

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