There is something very comforting about meat balls. I always have a batch in the freezer for When I don’t know what to make for dinner. This recipe is how my grandmother used to make them. They have to simmer for quit a while, but then you end up with really juicy meat balls. The great thing about meat balls is that they are so versatile. You can put them in sandwiches, serve them over pasta with tomato sauce, have them as a snack. Or even slices them and top them with melted cheese, put them in a bun and pretend it’s a hamburger. This is a pretty classic recipe, but I also like making variations like Italian meatballs with parmesan cheese, or Indonesian with cumin, coriander and sate sauce. The possibilities are endless. I hope you enjoy these.
I recommend you use half pork half beef for the meat balls to get a juicier result. Only beef could end up a bit dry. If you do want to use only beef I suggest you add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the ground beef.
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced very small
1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated or chopped very fine
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or a few twists of the mill
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cardamom
1/8 tsp. allspice
a pinch of cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C. dried breadcrumbs*
1/2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp honey
a few splashed of Worcestershire sauce
1 C. beef stock (from a cube if you like)
Start of by gently cooking the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat until just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and let cool. In a bowl mix all the remaining ingredients and shape into about 8 meat balls.
Heat a frying pan with the remaining oil and brown the meat balls all over, now lower the heat and sprinkle the meat balls with the flour, add the tomato paste, 1 tbsp honey, the Worcestershire sauce and a cup of beef stock. Stir everything and set the heat to very low. Partially cover with a lid and let simmer for an hour.