The Quintessential Meatball: the recipe you have been searching for!
What kind of meatball is this? It is a meatball meatball! These are Vanja’s favourite meatballs, “These are the best meatballs you make! Why do you even bother making others?” Remember. Vanja likes simple delicious food.
That is exactly what these meatball meatballs are: simple, delicious food. Nothing fancy. No herbs. No spices. Definitely, no fennel. This is the meatball you can dress up to take anywhere. Add a sauce. Add a dip. This is the meatball everyone will enjoy. What’s not to like? Gorgeous combination of my favourite farmer’s ground Nouveau beef and Tamworth pork with minced onion, garlic, fresh flat leafed parsley, cracker crumbs, egg for binding and salt and pepper.
So why so special? Ah, my friends! It is the amount of each ingredient that creates the irresistible flavour combination – coupled with the quality of meat used, of course. I almost prefer soda cracker crumbs for the crumbs in this recipe. Panko make a delicious meatball, but so do soda crackers.
I make 2 kilos of meat into balls and get 50 average sized meatballs. I always fry up a batch fresh, and freeze the rest for another day.
Rarely do I cook without making a second for the freezer. That is why this recipe is such a big batch. “They say” fresh is best – but I am not always at my best. I will add that unless you have a freshly prepared dish beside the exact same prepared previously frozen one, the frozen meal presents with the same enthusiasm and gusto as the fresh.
I love to spend a day, or several, in my kitchen. I revel in the opportunity, the creations, the pleasure… yet, there are other days I find I am too tired, or too busy. Those are the days I am so thankful for that tasty somethin’ somethin’ in my freezer. Every fall and early winter, I tend to “put up” a lot of prepared dishes in my freezer. The summer is for chilling and grilling.
Each meatball is 40 grams of meat so 4 would be 1/3 of a pound, or theoretically, a generous serving. However, I have never seen a man at my home stop before 5 (just under half a pound), and most eat 6 (just over half a pound). So, I package them in labelled and dated freezer bags in bunches of 6. I place those small bags in a larger freezer bag.
Vanja and I will be off to visit William the Conquerer for his first birthday in February! I will be staying longer, so am happy to know Vanja will be well taken care of meal wise well I am away.
Go-to frozen food or meals currently in my freezer:
- Stuffed Red Peppers (and I stuffed slim, yellow Hungarian peppers with Spinach Risotto as a side for these this year)
- Giant Turkey and Sundried Tomato Pasta Shells (and have the Giant Spinach and Ricotta Shells to accompany these)
- Individual Cordon Bleu
- Individual portions of Sarma
- Meatball Meatballs
- The Best Ever Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Individual portions of Turkey Tetrazzini
- Sous Vide Ribs
- Sous Vide Brisket
- Our family favourite homemade hamburgers
- 2 Bacon Wrapped Meatloaves
- Osso Bucco for 2
- Rouladen for 1
- one casserole of Mousaka (but this is for my company and enjoyment, as Vanja turns his nose up to this one)
- Homemade Turkey Soup
- Homemade Chicken Soup
Not bad, eh? Most recipes I freeze extra batches of are of the “simple and delicious” variety, though I am good about putting away an individual serving or two from our Sunday Dinners, as well.
So, what is your go-to meatball? Please share your recipe with me! If you try my recipe, I definitely want to hear from you!
The Best "Meatball" Meatballs!
This is a very delicious meatball that covers all of your meatball bases. This is the recipe you have been searching for!
- 1 kilo ground know-your-farmer beef
- 1 kilo ground know-your-farmer pork
- 2 cups panko crumbs or saltine cracker crumbs
- 2 large free range organic know-your-farmer eggs
- generous 1/2 cup onion , minced (or 1 small onion)
- scant 1/2 cup garlic , minced (or 8 cloves of really good garlic)
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leafed parsley , minced
- 1 tablespoon Vegeta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100 grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients together; rest for 30 minutes to an hour
Form into balls; place on parchment covered cookie sheet
Freeze overnight; package in labeled and dated zip lock bags
Instructions for use when frozen:
Remove from freezer; follow recipe instructions for whatever meatball is required in the recipe OR
Remove from freezer; brown on all sides in frying pan and add to sauce recipe OR
Remove from freezer; pre-heat oven to 400F
Bake for 30-35 minutes (if straight from freezer) on parchment covered cookie sheet until done; add to recipe
Instructions when fresh:
Follow recipe instructions for whatever meatball is required in the recipe OR
Brown on all sides in frying pan and add to sauce recipe OR
Pre-heat oven to 400F; bake for 25-30 minutes on parchment covered cookie sheet until done and add to recipe
I put 5-6 meatballs into each small ziplock bag and then put all small ones into a larger freezer bag.
Very similar to my mom’s and grandma’s. We’d use bread too: wet it, and squeeze out the excess moisture. They didn’t use parsley, though: just bread/crusts/crackers, a bit of water, eggs, onions, salt, pepper. And they both had reputations as very, very good cooks.
They didn’t cook them up as meatballs, but as patties. Faster, I guess, to feed the Big Families back in the day. I had no idea till yars after I’d left home, that people made meatloaf out of the same ingredients … or that people didn’t usually put anything into hamburger patties but hamburger, salt and pepper. Insular, or what!
I don’t make any of the “old family standards” any more, because they seem to all contain ingredients that for one reason or another I can’t tolerate. But I do remember the recipes, and pass them on to people who ask … and like it a lot that others are still cooking “the old foods” and passing them on down through the generations.
Valerie Lugonja says
AWWW! Too bad you cannot tolerate the old traditional recipes. Too bad for me, too, as neither can I… but, this is a simple one. Homemade hamburgers on the Canadian prairies always contained minced onion when I was a child. Garlic, no. We didn’t grow it, use it, or know it in the fresh form until I was 12-13 or so. And then, one clove was a killer. One clove was definitely ENOUGH! How one’s palate changes! Hahaha! Cannot imagine life without garlic now. Have my hamburger post ready to go, but keep missing the final “in the bun” shot every time I make them. Making them again this weekend, so hope I get it this time. Another simple, delicious and unforgettable recipe. Thanks for your story! Mom never made meatballs, either. Meatloaf and hamburger, yes. Meatballs, no. The first ones I recall making were porcupine meatballs which I still enjoy! I was on my own in University then.
Karyn Moore says
I thought “what about rice instead of crumbs” until I read your post. I grew up in Winnipeg and “Porcupine Meatballs” were a staple of junior high home ec classes. I still have the recipe book from way back then and every once and a while I take a look at what they taught us to make…a lesson in the culinary history of the prairies!
Valerie Lugonja says
My Grade Seven Home Ec teacher became a personal girl friend when I grew into adulthood. She was the best then and a great gal pal. I learned SO much from her. I did take Home Ec in grades 8 and 9, but honestly, recall only perfectly browning a lovely fried chicken for our favourite teacher, cutting into it, and finding that it was raw! ARG! I recall nothing else from those 2 years – but my grade 7 year? I still make her baking powder biscuits. I know how to make lovely pie pastry because of her. No meat in grade 7 – or at all through my middle school years except that one year end meal. But, porcupine balls were certainly a staple for me and my roommates in University and I still find a whole lot of comfort in them yet, today – though I all too rarely make them. Gotta change that, no?
Yum! You’ve inspired me to make up a big batch of meatballs for the freezer today! Hubby is looking forward to a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs tonight. I love the inspiration your recipe posts give me! I miss cooking with you and your blog posts let me feel like I’m a part of your kitchen.
Valerie Lugonja says
What a sweet message! I hope Richard enjoys these meatballs as much as Vanja does!
I am going to try these. They look like little desserts.
Valerie Lugonja says
Haha! Not even close to a dessert, Esme!
Lovely to reconnect. Hope you are thriving!
I definitely want to make these – they sound yummy. One question for you – what is vegeta? I never heard of this. Thanks. Happy New Year.
Valerie Lugonja says
You can actually “google it”. It is a European (primarily used in Eastern Europe) seasoning salt. Some versions do contain MSG. It can be purchased in Canada in most major Supermarkets.
Happy 2018 and let me know how the meatballs go!