My husband and I once lived upstairs from his mother and father and family.As I started to learn how to cook, it became abundantly clear that Anthony, (my husband), would only eat his mothers meatballs.I spent countless Sundays by her side, trying to learn how she made them so magically.They were so good and such a Sunday staple along with other dishes. A late night meatball sandwich was heavenly as the guys watched TV. I finally acquired the stamp of approval and when I took over the duty of Sunday's meatballs, Anthony would always add the phrase..... "She makes them just like my mother!"
1Soak the bread in milk(or water).Mix to a mush consistency.Add the beaten eggs and seasonings and mix well. Then add the ground beef.Incorporate the beef with the bread mixture and begin to form the meatballs to about a golf ball size or larger. I usually get about 24-30 meatballs using three pound of ground beef.
2Baking method: Grease a long shallow pan with oil and place the meatballs on the pan taking care not to crowd them too much.
Frying method: My mother-in -law would never think to do anything but fry them in a black cast iron pan with enough oil to come up to about 1/4 of an inch on the meatball.More work but they come out delicious! If you choose this method, fry just long enough to get a brown crust on the outside, turning them in the frypan.
I gradually moved on to bake them to make them a bit more healthy, using less oil.Oven temp to 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
3Now, this is another method I have changed as my mother in law would start her "Sunday Gravy" about an hour before the meatballs and then put the meatballs in the sauce to simmer and flavor the sauce.I like using the crockpot with a good quality jar sauce or simply a can of crushed tomatoes(or two if making extra gravy), and a small can of tomato paste,a few basil leaves and adding about 2 "paste cans" full of water.
4Let them simmer for about 3 hours on low.
That's the magic!