Ah meatballs, they be good! Normally people think of meatballs with spaghetti – well at least us Americans – which you could certainly serve as a side with this recipe. But meatballs by themselves are delicious and extremely filling. Personally I'd rather have some hot sliced garlic bread instead of the pasta, but that's me. My dad would say otherwise. He is a firm believer that meatballs should always go with pasta and he couldn't hide his disappointment when I made this recipe for him and my mom and didn't have any spaghetti to go with. He still loved the meatballs though and that's what counts!
These babies are delicious and I keep making them because I enjoy them so much. I can't help it, I love them! Honestly go through the ingredients list and what's not to love? One thing to note, once you prepare the meatballs they need to simmer in the sauce for 1-2 hours, so be sure to allow enough time for this step. You could forgo this step and only cook the meatballs for 1/2 hour or so, but the flavor wouldn't be nearly as good.
What You'll Need - serves 4-6
1lb organic, grass-fed ground beef
1lb organic ground pork
1 cup fresh bread crumbs - I use whole wheat or sourdough bread, but white would work too
1/2 cup organic onion finely chopped
1/4 cup organic parsley finely chopped, plus more to garnish with
4 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking with
2 tsp. sea salt
4 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese, plus more to garnish with
2 organic, free-range eggs
1 28oz. can of organic plum tomatoes - no seasoning
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 medium onion, diced
Large mixing bowl
Heavy bottom cooking pot, a dutch oven works great
Large plate with a couple pieces of paper towel on it
1. Mix together thoroughly but gently, your ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup onion that has been finely chopped, parsley, 4 tbsp. olive oil, salt, 4 tbsp. parmesan cheese and eggs. I think using your hands for this step works best. You want to make sure you don't have any large clumps of meat and all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
2. To form a meatball, measure out a 1/3 cup amount and then using your hands shape the mixture into balls. Press the mixture pretty firmly together. You don't want the meatballs to fall apart when you are cooking them.
3. After you are done shaping your meatballs place your heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat and heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place enough meatballs in the bottom to fill the pot, but leave enough room so they aren't touching. You'll have to cook the meatballs in several batches. Brown the meatballs, turning them as necessary to brown all sides. Tongs work best to turn the meatballs, but be sure to gently pick the meatballs up or they'll break apart. Don't worry about getting the meatballs cooked through, you'll cook them more a bit later. As each batch of meatballs is done browning place them on the paper towel covered plate.
4. After the meatballs are all browned, remove all but 1-2 tbsp. of fat from pot, if there isn't any excess fat add 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil. Saute the medium diced onion until softened, then add the fennel seed and saute for 1-2 more minutes. Now add your can of plum tomatoes including juice.
5. Finally add all of the meatballs to the sauce. They'll probably be stacked on top of one another, which is fine. Turn the heat down to low and cook the meatballs and sauce together for at least an hour and preferably about 2 hours. The sauce should be at a very gentle simmer, you want the sauce to reduce so that it's nice and thick, but you don't want all of your liquid to evaporate too quickly and then scorch the bottom of the pot.
6. Now that your house smells wonderful and your stomach is probably grumbling from waiting to eat these babies, sit down and serve them up. You can garnish with some parmesan and chopped parsley.
I wish I had a better picture, but by the time I realized none of the pictures turned out very well I didn't have any meatballs left! (-: Next time I make them I'll try to snap a better shot.
If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you, so let me know. Always remember if you ever have a question about any of my recipes or just a general question you can email me or ask me on my blog and I'll do my best to respond as quickly as possible!
Thanks and enjoy!