This recipe was a life saver for me tonight. My day starting taking a sharp nosedive around lunchtime and just kept plummeting. The house was a wreck, things were breaking, kids were crabby and difficult and soo NOT interested in letting Mommy go in the kitchen to cook dinner (even though they assured me they were soo desperately hungry for snacks *sigh*). Just as I thought things had just about reached the peak of chaos, I get an email from the hubby that he’s working really late and won’t be home until after the kids are in bed, dinner’s over, and I’m so far past stressed out that I’m already halfway back to sanity again.
Luckily I made my Mega Meatloaf last night. No, that’s not a total non sequitur and random plug for another one of my recipes, it is why I had meatballs already made and rolled and ready to go today!
Both my recipe for meatballs and my recipe for my Mega Meatloaf call for a 50/50 mixture of ground beef and ground pork. Because both are sold in 1lb packages – I would have to either make a two pound meatloaf or two pounds of meatballs. Either way, it would be way too much for my family to eat and as it is we have quite a bit of leftovers from each dish when we split them! I buy my ground meats, mix them together with the ingredients listed below, and then divide the mixture in half and make half of it into a meatloaf and the other half becomes my meatballs! AND I was lucky enough yesterday to have made the meatloaf half so all I had to do today was retrieve my plate of mixed, rolled, and prepared meatballs out of the fridge, toss it in the oven, and then serve it to my ever-so-charming children!
1/2 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork
1/2 cup Romano Cheese
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 TBSP Parsley
salt/pepper to taste
1 cup Bread Crumbs
3/4 cup lukewarm Water
Optional: Marinara Sauce, grated Mozzarella Cheese, Bread for meatball sandwiches or spaghetti for pasta
1. Combine the meat, eggs, cheese, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add about half of the breadcrumbs and mix it in, then half of the water and mix it in fully. Repeat with the remainder of the bread crumbs and water – though you have to make a judgement call on the water. You might need a little more or a little less, depending on how moist your ground meats were. You want the meat mixture to be firm enough to hold its shape. Too dry and it will break apart, too wet and it will just be a sloppy mess.
2. Once your meat is mixed together, you get to start rolling your balls. I like mine to be roughly a TBSP each as a general rule of thumb for sizing. Any size works though, just remember that you want them to be as uniform as possible and that bigger meatballs will take longer to cook, smaller ones will cook quicker.
(Up to this point, the meat mixture is the exact same as the mixture for my Mega Meatloaf mix. This is where the recipes start to split apart so if you want to use half your meat for the meatloaf, divide it now and save some for later. Check the tabs above in the meat/pork drop down for my Mega Meatloaf recipe!)
3. At this point in the recipe you can make a choice. You can fry up your meatballs in some olive oil and then toss them in a pot of marinara to finish cooking and absorb the saucey flavor – OR – you can put them on a greased cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for about half an hour. Either way they come out delicious and ready-to-eat!