Everyday Beef Meatballs

by Rachel on September 26, 2010

Makes many meatballs.

My father used to work as head chef in a casual Italian restaurant.  He worked there for many years and over time his recipe repertoire moved from dishes designed to feed our family, to recipes that were scaled such that they could feed the entire U.S. 87th Airborne.  These meatballs were one of the restaurant’s best sellers and when I asked my father to give me the recipe he started out by saying, that the first ingredient was “16 lbs of ground beef.” I’m assuming that most of you think that 16 lbs of beef is just slightly more than you need.  Below please find ¼ of my father’s usual recipe.

Everyday Beef Meatballs (a lot of meatballs)

  • 4 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 medium red onion, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk

Mix breadcrumbs in a ½ cup milk. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl.  It is best if you mix using your hands.  Add the milk soaked breadcrumbs.

Oil your hands with olive oil or canola oil, form the meatballs in whatever size you prefer (1-2 inches in diameter). You can either sauté them in a large frying pan in a little bit of oil, or you can put them on an oiled sheet pan and bake them in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they are well browned.  Serve with your favorite sauce.  They are especially good with the Spaghetti Sauce from this blog.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

x3baking September 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

If they’re one of the restaurants best sellers they must be very good. What do the breadcrumbs do for the meatball? Also, do you think sauted meatballs taste better or baked ones? thank you for sharing the recipe.

Rachel September 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Dear x3baking: Many meatloaf and meatball recipes have breadcrumbs. It makes them a bit more tender than without. They would be pretty dense if they didn’t have them. You can either sauté or bake meatballs. Sautéed ones get a nice crust of sorts rather than being just cooked through. Most meatball recipes that have that nice brown exterior were cooked in a pan, not in the oven.

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