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Meatballs! Oh pierino, wherefore art thou? And any other PicklePals, Italian or not. I'm taking a poll about meatballs for pasta with red sauce, not the Swedish or Middle Eastern types. No recipes, please, just the facts.

1: From what do you make your meatballs? Ground beef, a mixture of meats, what?

2: How big do you make them?

3. How do you cook them? Saute, bake, poach or simmer in water or broth, dropped right into the sauce?

This isn't to settle an argument or anything like that--I'm just curious.

asked by betteirene over 6 years ago
10 answers 1042 views
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Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 years ago

Mixed ground meats: beef, veal, pork. Either small or big. Small (1-inch) if you want them to integrate. Big (2 inches) if you want to make a fun visual statement. Saute if someone else is cleaning the stove. Bake if I'm cleaning the stove.

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added over 6 years ago

Sometimes a mix of beef, veal and pork, and often just beef. I usually make mine on the smaller side to, as Amanda put it, integrate. Maybe 1 inch diameter or a little bigger? And I usually don't bake for red sauce, though I do for other types of meatballs. I par-pan fry and then drop them in the simmering sauce for a while. Thinking about it has me craving some now!

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amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Usually a mix of veal/beef/pork, but sometimes all beef; for old school Italian/American spag and meatballs, around 1.5" (maybe a little bigger if I'm sipping wine while rolling them); sear them in a skillet, then finish cooking in sauce to add flavor to it.

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Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

added over 6 years ago

Equal mix of chuck, pork and veal; prefer them small (1-inch), but medium is okay too. I like to brown them, so either sauté or bake -- then simmer in sauce!

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added over 6 years ago

2 parts beef, one park pork, one part veal. Ping-pong ball to golf ball sized. Baked. Mine get lopsided when I saute them, anyway, and baking is just lots simpler.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 6 years ago

1. Beef only

2. Smallish - that way I can eat more of them at once!

3. Brown on the stove or in the oven, depends on my mood, then stick in the tomato sauce to finish cooking.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

I do the beef, veal, pork mix and bake them. They seem to stay together better with less handling.

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added over 6 years ago

Jimmy Dean makes a delicious green label bulk Italian sausage mix that makes tender meatballs with no bread filler.I have only found it at Publix . It is worth seeking for your MB's...ch

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added over 6 years ago

We use either all beef or the beef-veal-pork combo- and we put raisins and pignolis in them. :) Also- sometimes we fry and sometimes we bake. The stove always ends up a mess from cooking the sauce all day anyway. :)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Here's another vote for beef, pork, and veal. I used to bake them. It was quicker and easier, and I used the excuse that they were just as good. Then I browned them in a frying pan and got hooked. If you have the time and patience, it is worth it.

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