Friday, May 16, 2014

I Beat My Own Balls.

Meatballs that is.  Now my softball sized meatballs have always been yummy, but I wanted something different; I needed a change of pace.  Instead of that huge one meatball on top of my spaghetti or pasta, how about two to three smaller ones; same amount of meat, just a different look for the eye.  Another change is mostly due to supply and demand; finding a simply ground pork that hasn't been preseasoned for use as a breakfast sausage is almost next to impossible around here.  Oh, and one more minor change, the onions; instead of dicing them up and putting them into the meat mixture raw, I added a can of diced tomatoes with sweet onions.  The onions are steam processed with the tomatoes, so are softened; sometimes the raw onions don't soften up when added raw and not everyone likes to bite into raw onion.  In our tiny store which acts as the local "supermarket", the Western Family brand is sold and they carry diced tomatoes with sweet onions.  I've looked in supermarkets and Walmart, but haven't found anything to its equal as yet; so if you can find some, stock up!

Of course the meatballs are parbaked in the oven before adding them to a pot of homemade sauce to finish off cooking.  Taking out all that excess grease from the meat makes a big difference on how your sauce will turn out.

Meatballs - 2014 Version
3 lbs lean ground beef
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with sweet onions
2 eggs, beaten
1 and 1/2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
3 Tbsp grated Romano cheese
1 Tbsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350F; spray a large jelly roll pan (aluminum sheet with edge) with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly; use a 1/3 cup to help measure out the mixture portions.  Roll between palms of hands; place on pan about a half inch apart.
Bake for a half hour; dab each meatball onto a paper towel to remove any excess oil.  The meatballs are only partially cooked, so do not eat yet; place into pot of sauce to finish off cooking.  If stovetop cooking, two hours; if slow cooker (crock pot), four hours.
Makes 20 meatballs.

Mary Cokenour