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Easy to prepare meatballs
September 25, 2016, 11:21 am

You do not need a difficult recipe to prepare meatballs. They are in fact more fun simple. All you need is to memorize this ratio:

¼ kilogram ground meat + one handful breadcrumbs + one handful chopped alliums + one egg

Meatballs can be prepared with ground beef, veal, lamb, chicken or turkey. You can mix two or three together for your own personal blend, or just stick with one meat.

¼ kilogram meat is enough to make meatballs for four. But while this ratio scales up to serve more people, it is recommended not to try scaling down, but instead to prepare the whole batch.

One handful breadcrumbs: For every ¼ kilogram of meat, you want to add about ¼ cup of breadcrumbs, which helps hold everything together. You can use any kind of bread for this, including gluten free.

One handful chopped alliums: For both flavor and textural variety, add the same amount of finely chopped alliums (onions, shallots and garlic) as breadcrumbs: ¼ cup per ¼ kilogram meat. If you do not wish to add, you can skip this step or add less, but avoid adding more as too much will compromise with the structure of your meatballs.

Put the meat, breadcrumbs and alliums in a bowl and season: No need to mix the ground meat, breadcrumbs and alliums together yet. Just get all of it in the same bowl and start seasoning. Begin with a good sprinkle of salt. From there, it is up to you. For classic Italian flavoring, add a generous dose of grated parmesan, some oregano and some parsley and the freshly ground black pepper. Add a dollop of tomato paste if that is what you prefer or you could consider curry, paprika, miso or ginger. Play, but do not go crazy: it is better to add too little than too much.

Add an egg and mix: Use one egg for every ¼ kilogram of meat to hold it together. Whisk the egg in a bowl and then pour it over the meat, breadcrumbs, alliums and seasonings. Now use your hands to mash and mix everything together until well combined.

Do a taste test: Once you cook a meatball, there is really no way to change its flavor so you need to do a taste test by heating a small amount of oil in a skillet, adding a little spoonful of meatball mixture to it and turning once until it is cooked through. Now taste and adjust the seasoning as per your requirement. You can also adjust the texture. To make your meatballs softer, add a little liquid such as milk or applesauce or tomato sauce. To make them firmer, add more breadcrumbs. Once the meatballs are how you want them, you are ready to start shaping.

Shaping: It is up to you to decide what size the meatballs are; just try and make them all match so that they cook at the same rate. Line them up on a plate or baking sheet and stick them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them; it will stay up to two days in the freezer.

Cooking: You have a few options for how to cook meatballs. You can sear them in a bit of oil (put the skillet over medium-high heat) and finish cooking them in a pot of simmering sauce. You can also finish them in the oven, or cook them entirely on the stove. You could bake them on a baking sheet in a 204 degrees C oven, or you could drop them into simmering soup and let them poach. To know when they are fully cooked, simply slice one open: if it is still pink or red inside, it is not yet done.

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