I am in the strangest mood. You would think that we’re about to set out on a six-month journey and I have only two days in which to cook all the food we’re going to need on the trail. Every time I take one dish out of the oven, I pop in another.
I think I know what is the cause of all this. His name is Gage, and he’s about the most perfect baby you’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s my son’s first child, and my first grandchild, and I can barely stand to hand him off to the next person waiting in line to touch him. I knew that mothers nested, but I had no idea the urge overtook grandmas as well.
So I’m nesting. Today, while Gage is at the doctor with his mama, I decided to make 125 meatballs. In case that same urge ever hits you, here’s what I did:
In a mixing bowl (I use my Bosch … have you bought one yet?), mix the following:
1 cup bread crumbs, seasoned or not
1 can evaporated milk (you can use plain milk, but this is better)
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2/3 cup grated hard cheese–parmesan, romano, asiago, myzithra
4 TBSP minced garlic–raw, jarred, or roasted
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (the kind you put on pizza)
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
To this, add 3 1/2 lbs ground round or ground sirloin. You could also put some ground pork or ground Italian sausage in the mix–just make sure it comes to about 3 1/2 lbs total. Mix this well, but don’t overmix.
Using your favorite meatball-measuring implement …. big spoon, hands, ice cream scoop … shape meat into 60-65 balls. I use a small ice cream scoop to get the amount I want, then form them into balls using my hand. It just looks neater that way.
(*Note: there’s no law that says your meatballs have to be round. If you’re running short on time or you just don’t feel like forming all those balls, you can simply shape the meatball into a square on your cookie sheet. Cut into 64 squares, but don’t spread them apart. Just leave them cut like that and bake as directed. Voila! Square meatballs. And if your guests really hate them, and they let you know with all sorts of shouting and ranting … well, let’s not invite those people over again for awhile.)
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet so that they are close, but not touching. I use my stoneware jellyroll pan. That thing is used so much it hardly ever gets put away.
At this point, you have two options: you can bake the meatballs, or you can simmer them in the homemade spaghetti sauce you thought to put on earlier. Or you could drop them in store-bought sauce, but you know that’s not going to be quite as good as homemade. If you opt for dropping in sauce, make sure you leave them undisturbed for the first half hour or so or else you might break them apart. Simmer a few hours for maximum deliciousness.
If you opt to bake, as I did today, put them in a 375 oven and bake for 25 minutes or until they are done all the way through. Chances are you’re going to reheat them at least once before you eat them–in spaghetti sauce, or warmed up for meatball subs. So they don’t have to be overdone, but they shouldn’t be pink in the middle.
Let cool. If you’re going to store them–and I would imagine you would … what else would you do today with 65 meatballs??–arrange them flat in gallon-sized freezer bags and pop in the freezer.
I made a double-batch of this today and ended up with 125 meatballs. That should do us for a week or so. 🙂