From Albania to Vietnam and a hundred countries in between…Meatballs come in a wide variety of styles and flavours. Known as Albóndigas from Spain and Latin America to the Danish Frikadeller to the Indonesian Baksos, they are all variations of the humble meatball.
I have to admit, I am a cooking show junky, and after watching numerous episodes of Guy Fieri’s Triple D, settled on a method of cooking meatballs that renders them so juicy and tender, you will never go back to regular, pan-fried, dried out meatballs.
There are actually two secrets to juicy, tender meatballs…the first being the quality, quantity and type of meat that you start with…
Which I call the Triple Mix.
Equal parts of Ground Beef, Ground Pork and Ground Veal.
From there, you can alter the spices and herbs to match any culture’s cuisine. Here at the Northern Homestead, we favour making our meatballs in Nonna’s Italian style, but we also enjoy them occassionally in a sweet and sour sauce format, when we are trying to curb the carb fetish.
Here is our basic meatball recipe, but by all means, add/subtract spices/herbs to suit your own taste.
Triple Mix Meatballs
3.5 lbs equal parts Ground Beef/Ground Pork/Ground Veal
1/2 Cup Fine Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 tsp Onion Flakes
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning Mix (recipe follows below)
One Large Jar of Home-Made Italian Pasta Sauce
In a large bowl, combine meats until well incorporated.
Add remaining ingredients (except sauce) and using your hands,
mix and knead until thoroughly combined.
Shape into balls (whatever size you want, we like ours a little
on the large size) and place in a large, glass baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Now here is secret # 2 ~ Pour a large jar of preferably home-made pasta sauce over the meatballs, cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes (depending on the size of your meatballs) or until internal temperature of meatballs reach 155°F.
Baking them in a sauce is THE secret to moist, tender, delicious meatballs.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes if not using right away. Otherwise, divide enough meatballs with sauce for future dinners and freeze in small, foil containers.
This batch made close to 70 meatballs, which is plenty for future rushed weekday dinners.
In the words of Nonna…
Home Made Italian Seasoning Mix
You don’t need to spend $$$ on a jar of Italian Seasoning mix when you already have all the spices/herbs in your pantry to start with….
2 Tbsp. Dried Basil
2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp. Dried Thyme
2 Tbsp. Dried Marjoram
1 Tbsp. Dried Rosemary
1 Tbsp. Dried Sage
Using a mortar and pestle, grind all ingredients until desired consistency is achieved. Store in an airtight container.