Seeking recipe/method for good Italian meatballs

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Mark Shaw, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. Mark Shaw

    Mark Shaw Guest

    So, I've been making James Beard's meatballs (from _American
    Cookery_) for years, but have never actually liked them all
    that much. They're kind of - well, coarse and dry.

    While travelling on business a month or so ago I had a HUGE
    meatball on top of a plate of penne that I still remember
    very fondly. It was apparently made from very finely ground
    meat - probably veal and pork - and was moist and delicious
    as well as delicately spiced. I want to make something like
    that.

    Anyone? Thanks....

    --
    Mark Shaw moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm
    ========================================================================
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
    discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny....'" - Isaac Asimov
     
    Tags:


  2. Clay Irving

    Clay Irving Guest

    On 2005-02-03, Mark Shaw <[email protected]> wrote:

    > While travelling on business a month or so ago I had a HUGE
    > meatball on top of a plate of penne that I still remember
    > very fondly. It was apparently made from very finely ground
    > meat - probably veal and pork - and was moist and delicious
    > as well as delicately spiced. I want to make something like
    > that.


    Polpetti
    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe33

    Polpette alla Cantinella
    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe19

    Polpette Napoletane
    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe20

    --
    Clay Irving <[email protected]>
    Your E-Mail has been returned due to insufficient voltage
     
  3. Mark Shaw

    Mark Shaw Guest

    Clay Irving <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On 2005-02-03, Mark Shaw <[email protected]> wrote:


    > > While travelling on business a month or so ago I had a HUGE
    > > meatball on top of a plate of penne that I still remember
    > > very fondly. It was apparently made from very finely ground
    > > meat - probably veal and pork - and was moist and delicious
    > > as well as delicately spiced. I want to make something like
    > > that.


    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe33
    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe19
    > http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?italian+recipe20


    Thank you Sir. Those look delightful.

    > Your E-Mail has been returned due to insufficient voltage


    Oops.

    --
    Mark Shaw moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm
    ========================================================================
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
    discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny....'" - Isaac Asimov
     
  4. "Mark Shaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > So, I've been making James Beard's meatballs (from _American
    > Cookery_) for years, but have never actually liked them all
    > that much. They're kind of - well, coarse and dry.
    >



    I am meatball-challenged. My meatloaf is really good, but I've never been
    able to make a decent meatball. Could be me, could be the recipes...maybe I
    should roll my meatloaf mix into balls!

    So if you find a recipe that works for you and gives you the moist, tender,
    fine-textured meatball you described, I'd love to know -- please post!

    Chris
     
  5. Mark Shaw

    Mark Shaw Guest

    Chris Neidecker <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I am meatball-challenged. My meatloaf is really good, but I've never been
    > able to make a decent meatball. Could be me, could be the recipes...maybe I
    > should roll my meatloaf mix into balls!


    That's what Alton Brown recommends.

    > So if you find a recipe that works for you and gives you the moist, tender,
    > fine-textured meatball you described, I'd love to know -- please post!


    I need to try one or two of the recipes Mr. Irving posted. Once I
    do, I'll post results.

    --
    Mark Shaw moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm
    ========================================================================
    "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
    discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny....'" - Isaac Asimov
     
  6. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    "Chris Neidecker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Mark Shaw" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> So, I've been making James Beard's meatballs (from _American
    >> Cookery_) for years, but have never actually liked them all
    >> that much. They're kind of - well, coarse and dry.
    >>

    >
    >
    > I am meatball-challenged. My meatloaf is really good, but I've never been
    > able to make a decent meatball. Could be me, could be the recipes...maybe
    > I should roll my meatloaf mix into balls!
    >
    > So if you find a recipe that works for you and gives you the moist,
    > tender, fine-textured meatball you described, I'd love to know -- please
    > post!
    >
    > Chris
    >


    From my recipe page, here's one that has never let me down:

    http://www.pgacon.com/cooking.htm#Meatballs

    --
    Peter Aitken

    Remove the crap from my email address before using.
     
  7. Mark D

    Mark D Guest

    Hi, The recipe that someone else has posted does not sound all that
    bad.

    In essense, to make good Italian Meatballs, you should use a blend of at
    least ground beef, and pork (Like a Meatloaf Mix combo of meat sometimes
    found already pre-packaged at the store)

    Meat that is too lean may cause dry, nasty Meatballs. Another thing I
    don't like with this recipe posted, is the use of Onions (eliminate
    them), and the use of bread crumbs also in this recipe.

    My grandmother (born in Italy) always used to take a couple of Slices of
    Italian Bread, soak under warm water, squeeze excess water from bread,
    and mix into the meatball/meat mixture.

    Another tip, is don't overmix by hand, the meat/eggs/etc. Just enough,
    that all ingredients come together, and that's it.

    Parsley, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic are definite must haves!
    Another nice variation, is to add a small amount of Pignoli (Pine nuts)
    to the mix.
    Mark D'Ambrosio
     
  8. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    "Mark D" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi, The recipe that someone else has posted does not sound all that
    > bad.
    >
    > In essense, to make good Italian Meatballs, you should use a blend of at
    > least ground beef, and pork (Like a Meatloaf Mix combo of meat sometimes
    > found already pre-packaged at the store)


    What he said. It's nasty without the ground pork.

    > Meat that is too lean may cause dry, nasty Meatballs. Another thing I
    > don't like with this recipe posted, is the use of Onions (eliminate
    > them), and the use of bread crumbs also in this recipe.
    >
    > My grandmother (born in Italy) always used to take a couple of Slices of
    > Italian Bread, soak under warm water, squeeze excess water from bread,
    > and mix into the meatball/meat mixture.


    Oh, they have to have finely minced onions and I cannot abide real bread
    in my meatballs, has to be breadcrumbs. Maybe it's just me. (if you use
    real bread, isn't it supposed to be soaked in milk?)

    > Another tip, is don't overmix by hand, the meat/eggs/etc. Just enough,
    > that all ingredients come together, and that's it.


    Ditto, otherwise they will become tough.

    > Parsley, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic are definite must haves!
    > Another nice variation, is to add a small amount of Pignoli (Pine nuts)
    > to the mix.


    I do love Italian meatballs like a maniac. I eat them right out of the
    pot of sauce while it's still on the stove. Just had to say that.

    (laugh) nancy
     
  9. Hahabogus

    Hahabogus Guest

    "Nancy Young" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    >
    > "Mark D" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Hi, The recipe that someone else has posted does not sound all
    > > that bad.
    > >
    > > In essense, to make good Italian Meatballs, you should use a blend
    > > of at least ground beef, and pork (Like a Meatloaf Mix combo of
    > > meat sometimes found already pre-packaged at the store)

    >
    > What he said. It's nasty without the ground pork.
    >
    > > Meat that is too lean may cause dry, nasty Meatballs. Another
    > > thing I don't like with this recipe posted, is the use of Onions
    > > (eliminate them), and the use of bread crumbs also in this recipe.
    > >
    > > My grandmother (born in Italy) always used to take a couple of
    > > Slices of Italian Bread, soak under warm water, squeeze excess
    > > water from bread, and mix into the meatball/meat mixture.

    >
    > Oh, they have to have finely minced onions and I cannot abide real
    > bread in my meatballs, has to be breadcrumbs. Maybe it's just me.
    > (if you use real bread, isn't it supposed to be soaked in milk?)
    >
    > > Another tip, is don't overmix by hand, the meat/eggs/etc. Just
    > > enough, that all ingredients come together, and that's it.

    >
    > Ditto, otherwise they will become tough.
    >
    > > Parsley, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic are definite must haves!
    > > Another nice variation, is to add a small amount of Pignoli (Pine
    > > nuts) to the mix.

    >
    > I do love Italian meatballs like a maniac. I eat them right out of
    > the pot of sauce while it's still on the stove. Just had to say
    > that.
    >
    > (laugh) nancy
    >
    >
    >


    And don't forget the grape jelly.


    --
    No Bread Crumbs were hurt in the making of this Meal.
    Type 2 Diabetic 1AC 5.6mmol or 101mg/dl
    Continuing to be Manitoban
     
  10. Goomba38

    Goomba38 Guest

    Mark D wrote:

    >
    > Parsley, eggs, salt, pepper, and garlic are definite must haves!
    > Another nice variation, is to add a small amount of Pignoli (Pine nuts)
    > to the mix.
    > Mark D'Ambrosio
    >

    You forgot the raisins :) A must in my book. Just
    one tucked into the center of the 1 inch or so
    sized ball.
    Goomba
     
  11. Goomba38

    Goomba38 Guest

    Nancy Young wrote:


    > I do love Italian meatballs like a maniac. I eat them right out of the
    > pot of sauce while it's still on the stove.
    >
    > (laugh) nancy


    not to worry.. so does everyone else ;)
    Goomba
     
  12. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Nancy wrote:

    > I do love Italian meatballs like a maniac. I eat them right out of the
    > pot of sauce while it's still on the stove.


    That's not the way a REAL maniac loves meatballs! Imagine "American Pie,"
    only with meatballs -- that's how a maniac LOVES meatballs.

    Sane Bob
     
  13. ms. tonya

    ms. tonya Guest

    [email protected] (Mark Shaw) WROTE:
    So, I've been making James Beard's meatballs (from _American Cookery_)
    for years, but have never actually liked them all that much. They're
    kind of - well, coarse and dry.
    While travelling on business a month or so ago I had a HUGE meatball on
    top of a plate of penne that I still remember very fondly. It was
    apparently made from very finely ground meat - probably veal and pork -
    and was moist and delicious as well as delicately spiced. I want to make
    something like that.
    Anyone? Thanks....
    --
    Mark Shaw                              
            moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm
    ==================================
    RESPONSE: Check out Mario on the food network.
     
  14. Mark D

    Mark D Guest

    Nope, My grandmother never soaked bread used for Meatballs in milk. I
    have no idea myself what the purpose of using milk does to meatballs?
    Maybe someone else can comment about this? To me, this sounds like a
    yucky ingredient to be adding into the meat/mix.

    I've never heard of other Italian friends/families adding milk to
    Meatballs?

    My grandmother probably made meatballs for 70 years. She never measured
    anything. It was always a pinch of this, and a pinch of that.
    I reckon she cooked with love, rather than cook from a book.

    I must've watched her make Meatballs a 1000 times. While mine are good,
    they could never duplicate, or compare to hers. I've always asked
    myself, why is that!? :) Mark D.
     
  15. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    "Mark D" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Nope, My grandmother never soaked bread used for Meatballs in milk. I
    > have no idea myself what the purpose of using milk does to meatballs?
    > Maybe someone else can comment about this? To me, this sounds like a
    > yucky ingredient to be adding into the meat/mix.
    >
    > I've never heard of other Italian friends/families adding milk to
    > Meatballs?


    I do, same with meatloaf. My ex mil did, too, and you don't get
    much more Italian than that family.

    > My grandmother probably made meatballs for 70 years. She never measured
    > anything. It was always a pinch of this, and a pinch of that.
    > I reckon she cooked with love, rather than cook from a book.
    >
    > I must've watched her make Meatballs a 1000 times. While mine are good,
    > they could never duplicate, or compare to hers. I've always asked
    > myself, why is that!? :) Mark D.


    Doesn't that just drive you crazy? You just can't get it to come out the
    same. I think everyone here can relate.

    nancy
     
  16. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    "Mark D" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Nope, My grandmother never soaked bread used for Meatballs in milk. I
    > have no idea myself what the purpose of using milk does to meatballs?
    > Maybe someone else can comment about this? To me, this sounds like a
    > yucky ingredient to be adding into the meat/mix.
    >
    > I've never heard of other Italian friends/families adding milk to
    > Meatballs?


    I do, same with meatloaf. My ex mil did, too, and you don't get
    much more Italian than that family.

    > My grandmother probably made meatballs for 70 years. She never measured
    > anything. It was always a pinch of this, and a pinch of that.
    > I reckon she cooked with love, rather than cook from a book.
    >
    > I must've watched her make Meatballs a 1000 times. While mine are good,
    > they could never duplicate, or compare to hers. I've always asked
    > myself, why is that!? :) Mark D.


    Doesn't that just drive you crazy? You just can't get it to come out the
    same. I think everyone here can relate.

    nancy
     
  17. Mark D

    Mark D Guest

    Meatballs Part Deux:
    Well, I thought some about Meatballs, and using onion in the mix. While
    sure you can use whatever you like, and whatever taste right to you.

    As for milk, I'm still wondering what the milk supposed to do? Does it
    magically "convert" Beef into Veal?.

    Things like milk are somthing I myself would never wish to add to my
    Pasta Sauce/Meatballs.

    Another item some people seem to get carried away with in a Tomato Pasta
    Sauce, is Sugar.
    Just a pinch too much ruins a Sauce.

    I can remember an old adage/rule my Grandmother always used to say.
    Garlic in a Meat Sauce/Gravy, Onions in a Fish Sauce/Gravy.

    Anyone remember Paulie Cicero in Good Fellas telling is buddy in prison
    not to add too many Onions to the Sauce? There's a reason for this.

    As far as using Bread Crumbs (Or even worse, Saltine Crackers) in
    Meatballs, (or Meatloaf for that matter) I think this is what gives
    Meatballs that gritty, rock hard, dry texture to them, that will make
    your Meatball's consistency like that of a Golf Ball. (Fore!!) This is
    probably what many restaurants do, to cut corners, as it's a whole lot
    easier to use.

    Onions in Mealoaf, yes! And I also like in Meatloaf instead of
    resorting to horrible Saltine Crackers, grated potato instead. Makes
    for a much more juicy, and tender Meatloaf. Mark
     
  18. Jean B.

    Jean B. Guest

    Mark Shaw wrote:
    >
    > So, I've been making James Beard's meatballs (from _American
    > Cookery_) for years, but have never actually liked them all
    > that much. They're kind of - well, coarse and dry.
    >
    > While travelling on business a month or so ago I had a HUGE
    > meatball on top of a plate of penne that I still remember
    > very fondly. It was apparently made from very finely ground
    > meat - probably veal and pork - and was moist and delicious
    > as well as delicately spiced. I want to make something like
    > that.
    >
    > Anyone? Thanks....
    >
    > --
    > Mark Shaw moc TOD liamg TA wahsnm


    Eeeek! I thought I had lost these recipes, which emanate from the
    (Italian) mom of an ex-boyfriend...........

    Vera's Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Yum! The best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever eaten!

    The Meatballs:
    1 lb ground beef
    4 eggs, beaten with 2 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
    1 c bread crumbs (fresh?)
    1/3 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano cheese)
    2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I like lots of fresh parsley...)
    minced garlic to taste (1-2 cloves; 2 will impart a fairly
    pronounced garlic flavor)
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    oil for browning

    Mix all ingredients but oil together and form into medium or large
    meatballs. Brown in large frying pan (big enough to make the
    sauce) in oil-just enough to cover the bottom of the pan because
    there will be more fat from the meatballs. It is not necessary to
    cook the meatballs too long-just enough to look firm and brown.
    Note: You may increase this recipe by using 2 lbs of meat, 6-7
    eggs, 1 3/4 c bread crumbs, ca 3/4 c cheese, and more parsley,
    salt, pepper, and Worcestershire Sauce, etc. You can use some of
    this mixture to make hamburgs etc.

    The Spaghetti Sauce

    This will make enough for quite a few meals-depending on how many
    persons you serve each time. VS

    ca 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
    2 onions, diced
    4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    2 large cans tomato puree
    1 large can tomatoes
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper (up to 1 tsp)
    1 Tbsp oregano
    1 Tbsp basil
    1 tsp thyme
    2 large bay leaves
    ca 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    3 carrots
    meatballs (see above)
    country spare ribs, fat trimmed off and ribs browned (JB:
    optional, but this seems to have a nice
    effect on the sauce)
    Italian sausages, browned (JB: I don't like these)
    1 small can tomato paste-if needed for added thickness OR
    1/2 - 1 can of water to make it thinner. Vera usually uses at
    least 1/2 can.

    Add ca 1/4 oil to large pan. (JB: if you were smart, you can use
    the pan you used when making the meatballs. Also, note many folks
    do not fry in EVOO.) Brown the onions and garlic. Add the tomato
    puree, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Start cooking on medium-high
    heat, then reduce the heat to low, stirring frequently. Assess
    for thickness and add water and tomato paste as you see fit.
    After cooking a while, add oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaves,
    brown sugar, and carrots (and ribs and sausages if you are using
    them) Cook for several hours. Add meatballs for the last hour of
    cooking. Jean B. via rfc

    --
    Jean B.
     
  19. Steve Calvin

    Steve Calvin Guest

    Jean B. wrote:
    > Vera's Spaghetti and Meatballs
    >
    > Yum! The best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever eaten!
    >
    > The Meatballs:
    > 1 lb ground beef
    > 4 eggs, beaten with 2 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce


    Jean,

    4 eggs for 1 lb beef? Just questioning 'cause it sounds like a lot to
    me. I think the most I've used would be two.

    --
    Steve

    Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
    Autograph your work with excellence.
     
  20. Jean B.

    Jean B. Guest

    Steve Calvin wrote:
    >
    > Jean B. wrote:
    > > Vera's Spaghetti and Meatballs
    > >
    > > Yum! The best spaghetti and meatballs I have ever eaten!
    > >
    > > The Meatballs:
    > > 1 lb ground beef
    > > 4 eggs, beaten with 2 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

    >
    > Jean,
    >
    > 4 eggs for 1 lb beef? Just questioning 'cause it sounds like a lot to
    > me. I think the most I've used would be two.
    >
    > --
    > Steve


    Well, that's how she did it--and it was great. Maybe I'll get
    around to trying the recipe again before you do. As I recall, the
    meatballs were unusually soft, perhaps because of the additional
    eggs!
    --
    Jean B.
     
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