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5 Simple Steps to Tender and Flavorful Meatballs

BowlofMeatballsCreating the perfect meatball comes down to 5 simple steps. So I challenge you to try my method out, and taste for yourself the difference!

Mix the meats - A blend of ground beef, pork, and veal is the most classic mixture, although turkey and chicken can be used as well.

Moistened breadcrumbs - meat toughens as it cooks, so by adding bread crumbs* it keeps the meatball soft and tender. But to get them even softer, moisten the breadcrumbs with milk or water before you add it to the meat mixture.

*Don't use finely ground breadcrumbs, it will just turn into a sticky paste once the liquid is added. Use a food processor and pulse the bread slices a few times to create medium sized crumbs (approximently 1/8-1/4" size).

Flavorings  -  this is really up to your own personal taste, and where you can really make a statement. Here are a some you probably use, and maybe a few you haven't thought of before:

  • dried Italian seasoning blend
  • fresh herbs - parsley, oregano, and basil
  • garlic and onions - raw, caramelized, flakes, or powder
  • beef bouillon (gluten-free)
  • Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free)
  • Hot sauce (gluten-free)
  • BBQ sauce (gluten-free)
  • salt and pepper

Don't over mix - use your hands, and mix until just combined. You don't want to turn all those breadcrumbs into a paste. When shaping them into 2-3 inch balls, wet your hands with cold water. This will prevent the meatballs from sticking to your hand, and keep the fat from starting to melt.

Sauté, then simmer - fry meatballs first in a fry pan or in the oven, to create a crust around the entire surface. Then finish cooking the meatballs in a marinara sauce, simmering until fully cooked. Creating a crust first (searing), seals in all the moisture that you've worked so hard to create.

Now that you know all the tips and tricks to creating tender and flavorful meatballs, try making them for yourself in this savory Italian Meatballs recipe!

6 Responses to 5 Simple Steps to Tender and Flavorful Meatballs

  1. Suzanne Lewis January 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Can't wait to try these.

  2. Loretta March 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    How do you make gluten free bread crumbs?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley March 12, 2014 at 8:34 am #

      Using any gluten free bread/bun, put a few slices in a mini or regular food processor, and pulse until you get fine bread crumbs.

    • Carol March 13, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      We put Tapioca Bread in a blender & grind fine. Instant & less expensive breadcrumbs. Then store in refrigerator!

  3. Donna March 25, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    Sounds good too bad I can't make them for a couple of reasons 1) I live in Canada and we don't have that many gluten free products ( all 3 sauces) and not so sure on the beef bouillon haven't seen any where I live, 2) not aloud any types of bread.
    It's so hard to go gluten free in Canada.

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley March 26, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      I'm not sure which sauces you're referring to but all the ones I listed do have gluten free options available.
      For Worcestershire Sauce, there are several gluten free brands that are available in both the US and Canada like: Lea & Perrins (US), Heinz Worcestershire Sauce (US&CAN), French's Worcestershire Sauce (US&CAN). There are also products like Wizards Organic GF/CF Vegan Worcestershire that are available for purchase online.
      If you can't find gluten free liquid beef bouillon, use a dry variety like Knorr Bovril Beef Sachets and mix with a bit of water.
      Hot sauce (US&CAN): Sriracha, Frank's RedHot Original are both gluten free.
      BBQ sauce: make your own like our recipe or Heinz makes several available in both US & CAN - for a list of gluten free Heinz products in North America, check the link out.
      If you can't find any brands at your local grocery store or organic food market, you can always ask them to order some in for you, or you can buy online almost any type of gluten free sauce (like at amazon.com). It does take a bit of research, but they are out there. And with gluten free becoming more 'mainstream', more and more products are being made all the time. Which is a great thing!

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