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Author Notes: The name pretty much explains these - sometimes you just want a nice, big meatball. Or two. —aargersi
Serves 9 big meatballs
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for the meatballs
- 2 cups soft white bread torn in very small pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 cup loose packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loose packed fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 9 mozzerella ciligene plus additional mozzerella
- salt and pepper
- 16 ounces favorite marinara - I have a bunch that I canned but use whatever is your favorite, there are plenty of good options out there these days
- Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic. Saute them in 2 tbs olive oil until they are just soft. Allow to cool.
- Mix the bread, parmesan and buttermilk together and set them aside so the bread can soak up the milk.
- Chop the basil and oregano. Put the meat in a large bowl, add the herbs, red pepper, salt and pepper, the onions and garlic, and the bread mixture. Get your hands in there and gently mix all of that together.
- Wash your hands even though they are going to get gooey again in a second. Heat the oven to 350. Set you largest skillet on the stove and heat to medium, med-high. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil. I recommend you lay out the ciligene and a baking sheet before starting assembly.
- Now for the meatballs - grab a big handful of the meat mixture - I have big hands so I ended up with about a baseball. Form the meat into a ball then poke a hole with your thumb. Shove a little mozzerella ball in there, close it up, pat it a few times and set it on the cookie sheet. Repeat - I got 9.
- Wash your hands again. Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil and begin browning the meatballs. Don't over crowd then and don't worry about getting every inch of them brown, we are after a nice crusty top and bottom mostly. You will probably need to do 2 or 3 batches.
- Place the browned meatballs in the baking dish. When they are all browned and tucked in there, spoon the marinara over them and then top them with additional mozzerella - I didn't put an amount because it's up to you how much cheese you like. I think you know what side of that fence I fall on ...
- Into the oven for about an hour. Check periodically, if the cheese is getting too brown you can tent them with foil. When they are done pull them out and let them rest a bit. There will be a lot of juice (OK, well, maybe that's a lot of fat, whatever, it's tasty). To serve - spoon a meatball or 3 onto each plate, pour some juice over, and dig in.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs