Simone’s Famous Italian Meatballs
I created these meatballs in the early 1970’s & have never changed the original recipe because they’ve always gotten rave reviews. A bit labor intensive, but actually fun to make & well worth the effort. Once you taste these, mellowed in pasta sauce, you’ll think you’ve gone to Italian heaven!
Yield: approximately 36 meatballs – serves 18 to 36
8 large organic eggs
3 lbs grass fed ground beef, 85 lean/15 fat
3 cups vegetable/canola oil
2 1/2 cups Progresso Italian style bread crumbs
2 cups grated Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano cheese
1/4 cup granulated garlic powder
1/8 cup fresh ground or coarse ground (store-bought) black pepper
3 – gallon sized, plastic, zip-top freezer bags . Label & date.
1. Remove eggs & beef from frig about 1 hour before making meatballs. This removes the chill for easier handling.
2. Pour oil into a 5.5 quart Dutch oven or pot & set aside.
3. Whisk the eggs in a 4 quart glass bowl.
4. Add beef, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic & black pepper to the bowl of eggs.
5. Firmly squish knead the mixture with your hands for a few minutes & keep turning over till everything is extremely well combined.
6. Break off pieces & use a meatball tool to get even amounts of mixture (see Tip#1). Firmly squish meatball amount in your hands & then roll around in cupped hands till you form a round dense ball about 1 1/2″. Place on a large platter.
7. Continue the process till all the mixture is used up. This is a good time to thoroughly wash your hands.
8. Heat oil on med-high till very hot, about 7 minutes. While waiting; line a large platter or baking sheet with 6 layers of paper towels & set aside.
9. Place 9 meatballs into hot oil, one at a time, not touching & be careful not to burn your fingers. Oil should bubble as soon as you put the meat in. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 4 minutes till browning, DO NOT move meatballs around during this time.
10. Using a slotted spoon; carefully scrape under each meatball to release & turn over. Cook another 3 minutes. Stir the meatballs around for a minute till they’re completely browned & crusty all around & then remove them to the papered platter.
11. Repeat steps 9 & 10 till all the meatballs are cooked (see Tip# 2). As you cook more batches, they’ll take a little less time to cook on each side. Raise & lower heat during cooking, if necessary.
12. Allow to cool to room temperature, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you want to eat some now, move onto step# 14.
13. Once cooled place 1/3 of the meatballs, in a single layer, in each plastic bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible, then freeze.
14. To serve; place 1 cup (per person) of your favorite pasta sauce in an appropriately sized saucepan. Add frozen meatballs (generally 1 to 2 per person). Heat, partially covered, on low/warm heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, till meatballs are fully defrosted & heated all the way through. It’s important to cook for a good length of time to allow the sauce to cook into the meatballs & mellow the flavor. Serve over your favorite pasta or Zoodles & sprinkle with grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.
Tips & Suggestions
1. Using a a meatball tool will give you evenly sized meatballs & best cooking results.
2. As you cook batches a froth will form & oil will get very bubbly. Using a serving spoon; skim off froth, as you go along & put in a heat resistant cup.