Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Italian Skillet Meatballs

Italian Skillet Meatballs

I first learned to make meatballs from a dear friend's Italian mom. Hers were incredible and literally the size of a small fist. They were served on a plate by themselves with pasta and sauce served on the side. I have modified a couple of items, including removing the breadcrumbs to attempt a more Paleo-diet friendly version. Feel free to put them back in if you like the softness the breadcrumbs add. Add about a half-cup per pound of ground beef. Forgive the "handful" measurements! It allows you to play a bit with these ingredients and make it more your own recipe.

Makes approximately 40-1.5 inch meatballs

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef

6 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
a handful fresh parsley, chopped
a small handful dried oregano 

a small handful salt
1 cup grated romano or parmigiana cheese, plus add'l for serving
a small handful fresh ground Pepper
1/4 cup cooking oil of choice (our favorite is coconut oil)

Helpful Tools
 - Meatball tongs (aka melon baller).  This keeps you from forever forming the meatballs and keeps your hands cleaner!
- Regular tongs - great for flipping meatballs.

Fried Meatballs:  Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until combined. Form meat mixture into about 40 1.5 inch meatballs, using dampened hands or your meatball tongs.  Place each meatball onto a plate.  Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Brown meatballs in 2 batches (without crowding), turning frequently, about 8 minutes per batch or until cooked through.  Place 1st batch into an oven safe dish and into a warm oven (300 degrees) while second batch is cooking. Add more oil if needed to keep the pan covered.  

Serve in warmed dish from oven. Top with sauce and additional cheese. Add cooked noodles if you choose.

Meatballs in Sauce:  Cooking your meatballs in sauce will make them softer. Simply reduce the cook time to 4-5 minutes, only browning the outsides of the meatballs.  Then add to your favorite pot of sauce and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through.