Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Turkey & Beef Meatballs

I usually don't eat meatballs when we go out because they have pork in them, so Charlie and I decided to make our own with ground turkey and ground beef. They're a bit labor intensive because you have to form each individual meatball, but it's so worth it! These were delicious. We actually preferred them without red sauce because it kind of masked the rich flavor of the meatballs - but both ways work well!

This recipe is adapted from this recipe in October's Bon Appetit magazine by Molly Wizenberg (just the meatballs, not the sauce).

Makes 6 main-course servings

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French or country-style bread (a few days old is best)
1/3 cup milk
8 ounces ground beef (10-15% fat)
8 ounces ground turkey (not ground turkey breast)
1 cup finely ground Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup onion, finely diced

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in small bowl; stir until breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

Place beef and turkey in large bowl and gently break up into small chunks. Add Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Whisk eggs to blend in small bowl; whisk in garlic and onion. Add to meat mixture.

Using hands, squeeze milk from breadcrumbs. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture. Quickly and gently mix meat mixture just until all ingredients are evenly combined (do not overmix). Chill mixture at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Moisten hands (Molly suggests using reserved milk from breadcrumbs, but water also worked well), then roll meat mixture between palms into golf-ball-size balls, occasionally moistening hands as needed. You can then cook the meatballs in one of three ways:
1. Heat a large pot of sauce on the stove. Arrange meatballs in single layer in sauce in pot. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Pan fry in a hot skillet, turning every 3-4 minutes, until cooked through and browned on all sides.
3. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.

Serve with pasta or plain! With or without sauce! On pizza! So many options. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.

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