Extra Tender Meatballs

By • March 18, 2013 • 21 Comments

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Author Notes: These fork-tender meatballs are great for kids, or atop pappardelle or wide egg noodles.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 6 - 8

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sauté pan, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has begun to soften and lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until both the onion and garlic are soft and golden brown (be careful not to burn the garlic), about another 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients except for the egg. Stir it gently using two forks -- combine thoroughly but do not over-mix. Using your hands, gently work in the egg and the browned onions and garlic, until just combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a little olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; then nestle them snugly into a large baking dish, cover with foil and bake them in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches about 145 degrees. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Jump to Comments (21)

Tags: baby food, Beef, cooking for clara, meatballs, veal

Comments (21) Questions (0)

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Smallerwhitandaxel

about 1 month ago Whitney GB

These were amazing! I skimped on the veal and went with italian sausage (kids dont' appreciate the veal). I also browned them, and then added a tub of Pomi to the oven and it came out complete with a sauce ready to go on fresh pasta. Total keeper.

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7 months ago John Palumbo

1st time reading this and some of the comments are very bad..you look up tender meatballs and this person gives there recipe of it and everybody tells how they use something else...if that's the case then it is different recipe just use what this person uses if not write your own recipe and post it

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8 months ago cucina di mammina

I love that these meatballs use my age-old Italian tradition of sautéing the onion garlic and whatever else is going in as a mix-in (mushrooms, asparagus, carrots, celery, eye.) the flavor is SO much better than when they are added in raw. I too bake my meatballs in the oven, but do still love to pan fry and then add some white wine and stock to finish them off. This recipe is wonderful, thank you!!

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8 months ago cucina di mammina

Oops! I meant, etc. :)

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12 months ago Muse

Am going to make these tonight using all beef...they sound fabulous! Thank you for sharing your recipe. Peace, Light and Love.

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10 months ago Patricia Hartmann

Yeah, Muse, veal is expensive. I wouldn't waste it on a meatball!

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over 1 year ago Kelly Anderson

I would like to freeze half of these to save for future use. Would it be best to freeze them completely raw, or should I brown them and freeze with out cooking them through? If I were to roast these without browning as one commenter suggested,should I put them on a baking sheet and give them a little room between meatballs, or should I stick with the original instructions and put them snugly in a baking dish?

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over 1 year ago KarenSue

Delicious! I used the last of the cream cheese, rather than mayo, panko crumbs, and Italian sausage rather than veal - because that is what I had in the house! Despite these changes, the meatballs were superb! The pan frying and then finishing in the oven made then so moist and tender. Wonderful, thank you!

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10 months ago Patricia Hartmann

Wow, KarenSue, good cooks know how to improvise. Substituting successfully is a skill that takes a while, but you get the hand of it if you cook long enough.

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over 1 year ago Luvtocook

I prefer roasting raw meatballs at 400 degrees for as long as it takes, usually about 40 to 50 minutes, depending on how large they are. I usually eat one to test for doneness. :)
Using an ice cream scoop with a geared release makes them all a similar size and I turn them after about 20-25 minutes so they don't flatten too badly.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

When I don't have time for browning, I just roast these too. Thanks for the ice cream scoop tip!

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10 months ago Patricia Hartmann

Did you all know that you can cook meatballs in the microwave? I use a quiche pan, placing the meatballs around the periphery of the pan and covering with wax paper. In 5 min. they are cooked.

Eliz_and_esme

over 1 year ago TaoistCowgirl

The problem I've had with pan frying meatballs is that they inevitably get flat on one side, making it a deflated sort of ball. How can you avoid this?

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sadly, I don't have any tips there -- I try to just accept it and move on. Sigh.

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10 months ago Patricia Hartmann

Meatballs not compacted enough. Throw them from one hand to another to get the air out and create a tightly rolled ball.

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9 months ago Erin Argue

I make my favourite meatballs (this recipe/ratio looks delish!), make my favourite homemade sauce. In a large pot I bring my sauce to a boil then throw the balls in raw, not crowding them too much. I let the sauce come to a boil again then turn it down to a low boil and cook em til they're done. Don't disturb them too much in the pot but a nice gentle stir is a good idea. I am a meatball fanatic - like in the worst possible way - and since I've been making them this way I've never looked back. No flat sides, no overcooking/over-browning just unbelievable perfect, round delectable morsels of meaty gold.

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over 1 year ago Kristin Greene

Thanks Merrill! So excited to try these.

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over 1 year ago Kristin Greene

Is there a sub for veal for any chefs who don't eat it?

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over 1 year ago bettemay

Yes - like turkey?

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I'd recommend pork. Or you can just do all beef.

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over 1 year ago Marina Popova

This sounds great! I will be trying these :)