Basic Meatballs RecipeThese classic Italian meatballs are made with ground beef and pork and they're perfect for spaghetti. We brown them on the stovetop before finishing them in the oven.
I like to use half a pound of ground beef (ground chuck is my favorite) and a quarter pound each of ground pork and ground veal. But you can use equal parts (1/3 pound of each) if that's easier. Or you could skip the veal and just use half beef, half pork.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- ½ lb ground beef
- ¼ lb ground pork
- ¼ lb ground veal
- 1 large slice of sourdough bread (or two slices regular white bread), crusts removed
- ½ cup buttermilk, regular milk, or tomato juice
- ½ medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley leaves
- Kosher salt to taste (around 1 tsp)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (around ½ tsp)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut the bread into cubes and combine it with the milk (or tomato juice) in a bowl. Mash it up until it forms a thick paste.
- In a heavy dutch oven, sauté the onions and garlic in a little bit of oil until the onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside so that they have a chance to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground meat with the egg, cheese and parsley.
- Add the bread mixture and the onion-garlic mixture and combine until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. I find my bare hands are best for this.
- Gently form the mixture into meatballs about 1½ inches in diameter. Don't pack them too tightly. If you make them slightly more oval-shaped rather than perfectly round, browning them will be a bit easier.
- Heat about ½ cup of vegetable oil in your dutch oven. You'll want about ¼ inch of oil in the pan.
- When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and brown them for about 10 minutes, rolling them around with a pair of tongs so that they brown evenly all around.
- Remove the meatballs, drain excess oil onto paper towels, and then transfer them to an oven-safe dish.
- Bake the meatballs in the oven for another 10 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Note: An amazing way to use leftover meatballs is to slice them up and use them as a topping for homemade pizza.