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Old 06-11-2013, 11:35 PM
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Default For Kalzazz: The Meatball Thread

Behold, Kal! The entire meatball conversation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
i'm gonna be making dinner tonight--kinda unusual in our home--and i'll be making spaghetti and meatballs. the meatballs will be my first attempt. i'm gonna use a combination of recipes i found on allrecipes.com & one by ted allen. as a novice cook i have a horror of frying things so i'll be baking these meatballs instead. i'm not too worried about the crust and that's generally how my wife prefers to make them as well.

here's hoping i achieve edibility. :>
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimaera View Post
Baking is good -- I like to broil first, to get a nice brown all around, then bake for a while. If I may make a suggestion, if your recipe does not include filler of some sort (my personal choice is milk-soaked Wonder bread), be it bread crumbs, semolina flour, whathaveyou, I would urge you to include some. Meatballs are a recipe born of poverty and when adapted into households and cultures with greater food availability, the temptation to go "all-meat" is strong. However, IMX, filler is essential for both flavour and texture.

However you make them, good luck! I'm jealous: I now have a craving for meatballs. I'll have to make some this weekend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
i will in fact be using breadcrumbs, being familiar with the history of the dish. :> besides, i feel quite strongly that i should make a dish as i know it already before deviating from that template.
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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Can this be moved into food forum?

I am very interested in this notion of meatballs
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
so lessons learned from friday evening's meatball experience.

1) pre-measure all ingredients prior to working with the ground beef to reduce amount of hand-washing.

2) when using mini-choppers, cut up items to be chopped smaller than gobstopper size for optimal results. chunks of onion are not always welcome by some diners.

3) remember to have a skillet handy to make a test meatball patty for verifying flavor of mix.

4) when baking meatballs, be sure to note correct time in oven & confirm with the recipe. meatballs, no matter how large, do not require baking for 1 hr.

the meatballs friday were severely overcooked, having been baked for 2.5x as long as the recipe requires. in the interests of gaining the desired efficienty, a new batch were made sunday evening, with much better results. the remainder await a meal later this week.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen View Post
Chunks of onion in meatballs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulypalooza View Post
If I may make a suggestion my grandfather taught me to drop my meatballs in the sauce raw and cook them while it simmers. It's almost impossible to overcook them and they take on some of the flavor of the sauce.
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Originally Posted by Chimaera View Post
I've never done that, myself. Does it affect the cohesion of the meatball? I would be worried about them braising into mush. Personally, I brown them under the broiler and then drop them into the simmering sauce to finish. You've made this suggestion before, however, and I think I'll give'er a whirl next time I make meatballs. This last batch, I threw the onions and garlic into the Magic Bullet and pureed them with some home-made spicy and sweet chili pepper relish, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a splash of soy sauce. That, an ass-ton of freshly micro-planed parm, then: salt, pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, mustard powder and a hint of allspice. Mixed it all together with about 50/50 medium ground beef and medium ground pork and then my key ingredient: about a third of a loaf of Wonder Bread Texas Toast soaked in whole milk. I combined it all in the Kitchen Aid and it made about 60 decent-sized meatballs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephane View Post
I like onions in my meatballs too. But I tend to make them finely chopped so it's easy to mix them in as they tend to not stick well to the mix.
If cooked thoroughly, the onion do give a wonderful flavor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen View Post
Okay. This is me shrugging. I'm hardly an expert on the matter, but I've never put onions in my meatballs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulypalooza View Post
You may have to add an extra egg or two to your recipe as a binder but I've never had any problems. As long as you give the meatballs a half hour or so to cook before you stir the sauce you won't break them up either. I'm interested to see what you think of the technique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulypalooza View Post
I put minced onions in my meatballs, but not a lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimaera View Post
Cool... I've typically eschewed egg -- or, rather, I am inconsistent in my use of eggs. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. I will definitely give it a go next time, building a nice sauce first, then dumping in the meatballs. This time, I simmered the meatballs in milk, Bolognese-style, adding in sauteed onion and garlic, to form the base of the sauce and built the sauce around the browned meatballs, rather than building the sauce first and introducing the meatballs after.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
yep. the recipes i saw called for it, and i'm a big believer in beef + onions where practical.


now that's an interesting idea. i've encountered it before. about for how long do you need to simmer the sauce once the meatballs are added for that to work?


interesting. i'm not crazy about all of the things on the list--my preferences for meatball tend to be quite conventional so allspice & nutmeg aren't things i would ever add. about how large are the meatballs you created?


i'm a fan, so long as they're small enough--which as you now know, wasn't the case on either attempts 1 or 2.


i have a feeling your wife has an opinion on the matter.


i shall try that next time, sir...presuming i do not already have a sauce ready to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimaera View Post
Nutmeg is almost essential, I find. Once you've used it, you'll wonder how you did it without. A hint of allspice is nice -- it's not about tasting like allspice, so much as it is about shaping the negative space, to borrow a metaphor from the visual arts. The Worcestershire sauce ups the umami, as does the soy -- again, dashes and hints, here -- the goal is not about making it taste like soy, but rather enhancing the beefiness. Those, along with the mustard powder add a steaky dimension to the flavour of the meatball. Sometimes I add a touch of cinnamon too.

The meatballs were between 1.5" - 2" in diameter, about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
allow me to observe that i'm surprised you're conversant in imperial measurements.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulypalooza View Post
For a 1.5 inch meatball you need about a half hour to an hour to make sure the meatballs are cooked through. But as long as your not ruining you sauce by reducing it you can go indefinitely without overcooking them since the meatballs will never reach a temp above that of your sauce.





Ya think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen View Post
I leaned over my shoulder just now, and asked.

She said something along the lines of, "Not just no, but hell no."
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
nah, i don't generally reduce those kinds of sauces. i generally get the consistency i'm looking for without that, at least with tomato sauces.


was that to onion in the meatballs at all, or chunks of onion, which i think we can all agree are not exactly ideal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen View Post
She doesn't even use onion powder. Much less chunks of onion, no matter what the size.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
let's agree that should we & our wives ever host one another for a meal, there will be no meatballs. :>
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Starhawk, if possible I'd like to see the great meatball discussion moved to food forum instead of just nuked
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2013, 04:31 PM
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This is an awesome thread. Thank you for preserving it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:59 PM
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Ground beef
Breadcrumbs
Squirt of ketchup
Finely dice onions
Cilantro

I've decided I don't need an egg.

Add cumin and turmeric, then shape into rectangular patty for kuftas.

Tomato sauce:

The other half of the onion
Mushroom
Spinach
Garlic
Diced tomatoes
McKormick Pizza Spice
Cilantro
Some wine (lemon juice, cumin & cilantro for kuftas)
Canned tomato sauce

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake covered at 350 for about an hour.

Spoon over pasta of choice. (Rice for kufta)

Share and enjoy.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:23 PM
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If I wanted to use turkey instead of beef are there any considerations I should keep front and center? I know the turkey is less fatty, (that's the point for using it), so how does that affect cohesion and such?
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ischade View Post
If I wanted to use turkey instead of beef are there any considerations I should keep front and center? I know the turkey is less fatty, (that's the point for using it), so how does that affect cohesion and such?
Turkey tends to dry out, so lower temps will keep that from happening.

Like WAY lower temps.

Or... add fat.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:13 PM
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Ive been thinking some good meatballs might be right up my alley as far as my dietary needs go. Im going to try and use these. a bunch of meatballs premade and doled out over the week could fit right with my protein goals.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:26 PM
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itchy, a lot of meatball recipes i've seen call for adding an egg since eggs are a pretty darned effective binder. not sure however if that's also problematic if your interest is in reducing the fat consumption.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:46 PM
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Rice cooked into mush is a nice asian form of filler/binder that you can add to your meatballs and it works especially well if you steam them or make dim sum.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverwhisper View Post
itchy, a lot of meatball recipes i've seen call for adding an egg since eggs are a pretty darned effective binder. not sure however if that's also problematic if your interest is in reducing the fat consumption.
Egg whites or dah whole thang?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:09 PM
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chim makes a good point re: rice.

but re: eggs, yes, the whole thing.
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