Wednesday, 12 August 2015

After the Meatball

Via Twitter, @LifeofaMeatball
I'm not much of a meat-eater. In fact, I spent most of my young life totally repulsed by meat, aside from the occasional hot dog or slice of bologna. I started eating chicken when I was ten; red meat, when I was twenty-three. So when the chance came to make some meatballs for a small dinner party, I couldn't resist.

As per usual, never satisfied with a singular recipe, I have created my own hybrid from a few different sources: Alton Brown, The Joy of Cooking, and my friend Kathrin, who shared her grandmother's utilitarian recipe with me years ago in preparation for this fateful day.

Meatballs may be frozen for up to six months. Just reheat in sauce. (Make sure you reheat "low and slow" to make sure the whole 'ball comes up to temperature.)

Finally, the absolute minimum ingredients you need for meatballs are meat, breadcrumbs, and egg. Beyond that, the options are limitless.

Triple-Threat Meatballs
Serves 8-10. About 40 min., with prep.

Grab a large mixing bowl, wash your hands thoroughly, and manually mix together the following:
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 large (sweet) onion, finely chopped
- 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ c. breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 3 oz. dry red wine (zinfandel or petit syrah, say)
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley 
- 1 tbsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. red pepper flake

Now, you can make the 'balls right away, or you can stick the mixture in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Wash your hands!

When you're ready to make the 'balls, preheat the oven to 400°F. Put another ½ c. breadcrumbs in a smaller bowl for dredging. Wash your hands again! Use a spoon to scoop up some of the mixture, roll in your hands so each ball is about 2 inches in diameter, roll in the breadcrumbs, and place on a baking sheet. (At least make sure they are all about the same size. Alton Brown recommends putting plastic wrap on a scale and weighing them out to 1½ oz. each. He also recommends using a mini muffin tin instead of a baking sheet.) Did you wash your hands one last time? Good. Stick them (the meatballs, not your hands) in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your 'balls reaches 160°F. Share and enjoy!

After the Fall is a drama in two acts by Arthur Miller. Premiered at the ANTA Washington Square Theatre in New York City on 23 January 1964, presented by the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, directed by Elia Kazan.

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