This is my go-to potluck recipe. The meatballs are extremely moist and flavorful, with some lovely caramelization from the glaze. It is loosely adapted from a Gourmet recipe for baked chicken meatballs. Enjoy! - aschindler —aschindler
Test Kitchen Notes
Thanks to the bacon, these meatballs are incredibly juicy and savory. The hint of tomato glaze, like a flirtier version of Sunday gravy, adds lovely color and tang. Make lots -- they disappear quickly. - Kristen —The Editors
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the bread pieces and the milk in a small bowl, using your fingers to bread up the bread further. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it is crisp and it's fat has been rendered.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion, salt, and pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
De-glaze the pan with a splash of white wine, scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Cook for another minute. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool slightly
Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and remove any remaining crusty pieces. Combine the bread, parsley, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cooled bacon mixture, and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Add the egg and mix well again. Add the meats and mix until evenly incorporated, but don't over-mix.
Scoop the meat mixture by heaping tablespoons and roll into small balls. Place the meatballs on baking sheets, leaving at least an inch or so between each meatball.
Mix together the melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon tomato paste (don't worry if you can't get them to mix well). Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each meatball with a bit of the glaze.