Friday, December 7, 2012

Irish Meatballs, Mangia Mangia!

The only thing that makes these meatballs Irish is the fact that an Irish lass made them. They're your typical Italian meatball. Although a nice beef/lamb combo meatball with some cheddar, bacon, and onion might be delicious with colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage). Irish meatballs, Tracymarked. Stay tuned for that.

Anyway, back to Italy. I love meatballs. I'm not a big pizza person (unless I make it myself) so when I go out for pizza with people I usually get an order of garlic bread and an order of meatballs and I make myself a little meatball sub. Pure genius. Luckily, it's super easy to make meatballs and, double bonus, they make your whole house smell amazing. They're so versatile so you can serve them any way you like, plus you can freeze them (freezing directions below)! 

2 lbs ground beef (or 1 lb beef and 1 lb pork)
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
Italian seasoning

1 can tomato sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grate half of your onion directly into a large bowl. Mince the other half of the onion and add to bowl. Add garlic, meat, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning. Mix JUST until combined. The more you mess with the meat, the tougher it will be. If you want moist and tender meatballs, mix sparingly.

I use my hands to mix because it's the best way to thoroughly combine the ingredients without over-mixing the meat.

I was going to take a picture of the combined meat, but I didn't feel like washing my hands just to take a picture when they'd get all meaty again from rolling my meatballs. Please use your imaginations.

Roll your meatballs into about golf ball-sized balls and place in a foil-lined baking pan (Foil=easy clean-up!) and place into oven for about 20 minutes.

At this point, I started to get concerned that my sous-chef wasn't underfoot as per usual. He hadn't been feeling well so I went searching and found him cuddled up in my down comforter.

Back in the kitchen, increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

If you want to freeze your meatballs, let them cool and place them in a freezer bag, then when you're ready to serve them, let them thaw and pick up from this point

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl to make your sauce.

Transfer meatballs to a high-sided pan and place in a single layer. Heat pan to medium-high.

Pour your sauce over the top and reduce heat; let simmer for 20 minutes

Turn meatballs in sauce to coat evenly

Serve alone with some mozzarella cheese, over pasta, or (my favorite) on garlic bread with provolone for the best meatball sub you'll ever eat.

Buon Appetito!

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