Delicious Beef & Pork Meatballs
Andy Anderson !
The very first restaurant I worked in, I gave the recipe to the executive chef, and they became so popular, he added them to the menu. They were called: Josephine's Meatballs...
The big change is the addition of Ricotta cheese, as opposed to the more traditional Parmesan, or Pecorino.
This lighter cheese gives the meatballs a lighter texture, that's actually surprisingly quite agreeable.
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- 2 Tbsp
- olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 lb
- ground beef, extra lean
- 1 lb
- ground pork
- 1 c
- ricotta cheese
- eggs, large, about 2 ounces each
- 1 c
- bread crumbs, panco
- 1/4 c
- fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 c
- yellow onion, grated
- 2 clove
- garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp
- fresh chopped oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 tsp
- salt, table variety
- 1/4 tsp
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp
- fennel seed
1Combine the ground beef, pork, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, red pepper flakes grated onion, garlic, and fennel in a large mixing bowl.
Chef's Note: For the mixing, use the best tools a chef has... your hands. Mix with your hands until all the ingredients have been fully combined.
Prep Tip: For the onions, use the large holes on a basic grater, and then use a few paper towels to squeeze out the extra water from the grated onion before adding to the mixture.
2Grab a piece of the mixture, and roll into a round, golfball size meatball.
Chef's Note: If you're like me and you measure EVERYTHING... then you are looking at about 2 ounces (55 grams) of mixture.
Prep Tip: While I'm making the meatballs, I have a baking sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper, and I lay them on the parchment, and then move to the next.
Tool Tip: If you have a #20 size ice cream scoop, it makes a perfect meatball.
3Place a rack in the middle position of your oven, and then preheat to 430f (220c).
4In a large baking dish, drizzle the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and evenly distribute with your fingers, then place the meatballs in neat rows until they are almost touching.
Note: Since the recipe produces about 2 dozen meatballs, you may need to cook these in batches.
5Chef's Note: Cooking these in a baking dish is excellent; however, I found an old unused Ebelskiver pan in the storage room of our restaurant, and I had an idea. I used the rounded depressions of the pan to place the meatballs, and then cook them in the oven, in the pan. That way they come out perfectly round. One other thing: If you use this type of non-stick pan, you won't need the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Cooking Tip: When that pan comes out of the oven, that handle will be very hot. A trick I use, so that I don't accidentally grab that hot handle is to drape a tea towel over the handle... that way I know that it's hot. I've burned my hand more than once, before I was showed that simple trick.
6Roast for about thirty minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through.
An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 165f (74c).
At the restaurant we used a white oval baking dish, added a good tomato sauce, placed three meatballs in a row, and then covered with a bit of mozzarella. Back in a 450f (230c) oven for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown in places... then serve... heaven.
Of course these meatballs go great with a bit of pasta and sauce, and a sprinkling of parmesan on top.
Additional Serving Suggestion: If you cut the size in half, and add a good chili sauce they make brilliant appetizers for your guests to nosh on, before the big event.
Note: I do have an excellent recipe for some tomato sauce, and another for some homemade pasta... both from Aunt Josephine. When I get a chance, I'll post them; however, I'll just bet there are some brilliant sauce and pasta recipes right here on this very site.
Keep the faith, and keep cooking.