Saturday, February 5, 2011

Grama's Meatballs

Meatballs. Grama's meatballs. Grama's pan fried meatballs. Are you following along with me? I should be blogging about "Grama's spaghetti and meatballs" Seeing as she made the pasta, sauce, and meatballs all from scratch. We'll start with one element, the other two you can cheat and us jar sauce and box pasta. There is no cheating the meatballs. Ever.
-About 3/4 of a pound of ground beef (I like natures promise ground beef from stop & shop, it's much fresher and far less terrifying then standard ground beef)
-4 slices of stale pepperidge farm white bread (Brand name is key here)
- 1 egg
-half of a small onion
-five cloves of garlic
-Parsley (tablespoon?)
-Salt and peper
Pepperidge farm white bread. I don't know why it's so key, when ever I use another white bread it's just not the same. It's the kind my Grama used, so that's good enough for me. Let the bread slices sit for a day or two in the open air. I put the slices in an open plastic bag on top of the frig. The type of bread and it being stale is key.
The beef needs to be 85% lean, 15% fat
The onions and the garlic need to be minced very tiny, please take the time to do this. Add the beef and very tiny onion and garlic to the bowl.
Remove the crust, note I'm cutting away very little.
Soak the bread slices under warm water until you can feel the slice breaking down, squeeze out the extra water and add to the bowl. Add the spices. 3 teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper. Crush the parsley in your hand before adding. Crack the egg in also. The mixing was a two handed job so I don't have the photos to back it up. Mix it up very well until the bread and the meat become one uniform meat blend. No bread chunks, yuck.
When I shape the meatballs, I have a little cup of water to keep my fingers wet so the meat doesn't stick to my fingers.
They aren't round meatballs more like rounder little hockey pucks. The shape aids in even cooking when we pan fry them. Do your best to make them very similar in size. I just kept them on a cookie sheet until the oil was brought to heat.
Always save and reuse your frying oil, you can get five or six re- uses out of a jar this size. Saves you money and it makes a more complex flavor every time you fry adding yummy new meat flavors.
I filled the pan 1/2 inch with oil and bring it to heat. When the oil begins to shimmer on the surface test it with a small bit of meatball. If the bit begins to dance and fry right away the oil is ready.
Fry in batches so you don't crowd the pan. Remember what I said about frying, it should sound like a babbling brook. Otherwise they'll cook uneven. Adjust the heat if you have to. Wait 30 seconds after you adjust the heat for the oil to adjust to the heat. Frying is always easier with a gas stovetop rather then an electric stovetop. I had an electric stove top for two years and hated it. Fry about five minutes on each side, or until the meat is golden brown.
Keep your brown bag with a paper towel on it right next to the frying to avoid making a mess. Sprinkle the meatballs with salt the second they're out of the pan.
Use grated Romano cheese with these meatballs, it has to be Romano!

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