26 January 2017

Making the best meatballs

Happy Australia Day to all my Australian friends and neighbours. I hope you enjoy whatever you do today in this great country of ours.
Meatballs, whether they be rissoles, small Italian-style meatballs or Swedish meatballs are a popular meal, are fabulous as leftovers the follow day and make wonderful lunchbox food.  The problem with meatballs is that often they're tasteless and dry. I'd like to introduce you to my meatball recipe. You can use beef, pork or lamb, the choice is yours, the other ingredients are always the same.  The secret is to use milk-soaked stale bread instead of breadcrumbs. Doing that will give you moist meatballs every time. But you also have to add flavour. I add onion, grated carrot, spices, parsley, egg, salt and pepper but you can add whatever you fancy as long as it boosts the flavour.

  • 3 slices stale bread
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 500 grams or 1 pound minced meat - beef pork or lamb (I used pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 medium egg
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Soak the bread in milk for about 15 minutes and break it up with your clean hands. It should look like a lumpy paste when it's ready to use.

I processed the onion, carrot and parsley in a small food processor for about 30 seconds.
Place the soaked bread in a large bowl, add all the other ingredients and mix it all together  thoroughly.

Form into balls about the size of a small golf ball.  Place all the meatballs on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. That will help the meatballs firm up and stay together when you cook them.

Add a small amount of olive oil to a frying pan and when it's hot, add the meatballs. Cook on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.  You can also brown the meatballs in the frying pan and finish cooking them in the oven but it was too hot to do that here when I cooked mine.

I made a nice sauce to go with these.  When cooked, I removed the meatballs from the pan and added ¼ teaspoon of paprika, a sprinkling of celery salt, white pepper and stirred so it didn't burn. I added ½ cup of water, I let that come to the boil and left it on a medium heat for about 2 minutes. Just before I served the meal, I added ¼ cup sour cream to the sauce and stirred it through.

I served these with pan fried cabbage and onion, boiled potatoes and parsley.  You could just as easily make this recipe into a meatloaf to serve hot or cold, or around the outside of boiled eggs to make Scotch eggs.

If you make these, don't forget to adjust them to your taste but to get the moistness and a good flavour you should always include the milk soaked bread, the onion and carrot.  I hope you try them.

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