My kids love meatballs! I did not grow up eating them myself so never understood the attraction? I had never actually made them until my kids were old enough to order them in a restaurant, or eat them at their grandmother’s house, and then began asking me to make them for dinner. Hmmmm? I figured out the process quickly enough and I have to say, I throughly enjoy each step; from the squelching of the meat with my hands to combine the ingredients, to rolling them into perfect balls (well, to me they’re perfect!).
After a lot of experimentation over the years I have come up with a basic recipe, and go from there. There are so many variations, I am sure you could write a cookbook titled “A Zillion Meatball Recipes”, and still come up with more!
It is no wonder on Christmas Day, as part of our grand feast, there was a delectable bowl of meatballs gracing the table. I used bison, which is lovely and lean, and added the fat juicy element with the lamb. I used fresh rosemary and thyme to bring out a perfume-y note, and they were spot on.
I may be forced to make them again next year.
You will need: 3 lbs ground bison and lamb (you can also use beef in combination with one of the other two meats), 1 large sweet onion, small dice, 4 slices bread, 3/4 cup milk, 2 tsp sea-salt (I used Maldon sea-salt flakes), several grinds of black pepper, 2 tsp chopped rosemary, 1 tsp thyme leaves (or leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme), 2 eggs, 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup all-purpose flour.
Preheat oven 400*
1 – Tear bread into pieces, and place in small bowl and cover with milk. Set aside to soak.
2 – Put saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When it has warmed, add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to low, cover and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until very soft. Set aside.
3 – Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat briefly with a fork. Add the meat, salt, pepper, herbs, onions and soaked bread. Mix everything together with your hands until ingredients are well-mixed
4 – Put the flour into a shallow bowl and rub a little oil on your hands. Form meat balls, and roll in flour (a little smaller than a golf ball). Place meatball on a big floured platter. Continue until all the meat is done.
5 – Pour about 2 or 3 tbs of oil on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Leave for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and place all of the meatballs on the tray in an even layer. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
6 – Take out of oven and turn each meatball. Place back into oven and check after 12 minutes. When they are nicely browned, remove from oven.
You can serve these as part of a grander feast (as we did!), or, with the ubiquitous spaghetti and red sauce. You can also make meatball sandwiches, or serve them with rice and vegetables. The possibilities are endless.
You can also freeze them in plastic bags to be whipped out as the need arises.