I was never a Girl Scout, but I am always prepared.
Make that almost always prepared.
Every year we throw a New Year’s Day brunch party. Over the years it has grown to about 40 people, complete with pounds and pounds of bacon, kick ass Bloody Marys, Hoppin’ John, crepes, pizzas and more. Two years ago, the party which started before noon, lasted well into the evening. We literally ran out of food (gasp!) with a dozen people still in the house. They didn’t go home until we ran out of booze. Alas, I was unprepared.
This year I vowed to be ready. What would be better to whip up in a flash but homemade spaghetti and meatballs?
A couple of days before New Year’s my mother shared with me her recipe and together we made 80 meatballs and a vat of sauce. The plan was to heat up the sauce and meatballs, boil the pasta, and voila, a feast for the hoards.
Guess what happened? Forty people showed up, consumed nine pounds of bacon, three gallons of Bloody Marys, seven dozen eggs, two pizzas, and vanished by 4pm. No meatballs needed. But I was prepared, and fortunately the meatballs freeze well.
Printable Recipe in PDF for How to Make Meatballs
2 lbs ground beef
2 lbs ground pork
2 lbs ground chicken
2 Tbsp minced onion*
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1.5 cups coarsely ground breadcrumbs
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Yield: 80 each, 2″ meatballs
The recipe can be scaled back. Basically it’s 1 egg, and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs per pound of meat.
Feel free to play with the proportions on the meats if you want, but this mix yields a flavorful, tender, and slightly healthier (lower in fat) meatball.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Put all the meat in a large bowl. Using clean hands, mix in the onion, garlic, oregano, bread crumbs, cheese and salt. Mix in the eggs making sure everything is evenly distributed. *Minced onion~my mother swears by dried or dehydrated onion in this recipe. I switched it out for fresh because I realize that it’s not someone everyone might have in their pantry. But if you have it, you can substitute 1 Tbsp dried for the 2 Tbsp fresh onion.
3. Roll out the meatballs. The ones I made were about 2″ in diameter and weighed 1.3-1.4 oz each. I used a scale to periodically check the weight as they had a tendency to creep up in size. I wanted them all to be even so they would cook evenly. Lay the meatballs out on a foil lined baking sheet.
4. Bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.
5. Simmer the meatballs in marinara sauce on low after cooking for 30 minutes before serving for extra flavor.