Creating 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!