Monday, July 28, 2014


Recently on Facebook, Cousin-In-Law Mary, posted that she had just finished making enough meatballs to last a while. I asked her to take some pictures and send me the recipe and I would publish it on my blog.Well, she sent me the recipe but no pictures. So that meant I had to make my own. (I do thank you for the recipe, Mary. And truth be known, I guess it is good that you didn't send any pictures. These meatballs are so tasty....I'm glad I had to make my own sooner rather than later.)

Mary sent me her mother's original recipe but said she tripled everything because of using three different meats (ground round, ground bison, and ground sausage). You could make the original recipe and make less meatballs if you wanted to, but it is so terrific that I now have two gallon size freezer bags full of meatballs that I can easily take out and use in recipes now that I would recommend tripling it also. In fact, I told my husband that we wouldn't have to have plain old spaghetti sauce anymore. That pleased him. (Oh, he ate three of them while they were cooling and I was still cooking some.)

Mary cooks hers in an iron skillet, but she said her mother bakes them for a bit in the oven first and then finishes frying (browning) them in a skillet.  Mary admitted that the baking was probably better for you and I agree.  So I baked mine.  

I saw on-line from Afton Brown, a trick of baking meatballs in a mini-muffin tin and decided to give this a try.  It did work out really well, but because I only had two tins, I decided to try a batch on my cookie sheet.  That worked out really well also.  There wasn't much fat in my meat so they held their shape perfectly.  So either way you want to do them would be fine.

(I know you know how to triple recipes, but I put the increased amount in parenthesis at the end.)


1        lb. ground meat (3 lbs - any variety; such as ground beef, ground turkey, ground sausage, ground bison, etc.)
1        cup Parmesan cheese (3 cups)
1        cup Italian Bread crumbs (3 cups)
2        eggs (6 eggs)
1/2     cup milk (1-1/2 cups)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic (9 cloves - I used 3 teaspoons minced garlic)
1        tablespoon dried parsley or fresh (3 tablespoons)
1        teaspoon salt (3 teaspoons - I just left mine at 1 teaspoon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

If using more than one variety of meat, mix meat together in a very big bowl until well blended.  I used 1 lb of ground beef, 1 lb ground turkey, and 1 lb (roll) of sausage. 

(I mixed it using my hands. Boy! was it cold!)

Combine the cheese, crumbs, garlic, parsley, and salt in a large bowl, set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs together in a bowl.

Add the milk.

Add the the egg/milk mixture to the meat. 

TIP!  Since my hands got so cold combining the meats, I decided to try using my potato masher to combine the eggs with the meat. It worked so well.  Next time I will use it to combine the meats.)

Add the cheese/crumbs mixture and mix well. (Potato masher still does the trick.)
I used my wooden spoon at the end to make sure I had it all from the bottom of the bowl mixed in.

Form into meatballs according to the size you want.  I used my cookie scoop because I wanted smaller ones - they also don't have to cook as long - and that couldn't have worked better.

At this point you can add a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown them on all sides and cook til done (as Mary does)

OR you can bake them in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes if using the mini muffin pan or 20 - 22 minutes if using the cookie sheet. (I sprayed the muffin pan and the cookie sheet with cooking spray. I also washed the muffin tin between batches.)

Remove and cool completely on wire rack.  Can freeze for later use. 

These are the ones I made in the muffin tins.

These are the ones I made on the cookie sheet right after I took them out of the oven. (They were actually more perfect than the ones I cooked in the muffin tins.)

(I used quart size storage bags (2-1/2 doz in each) and then put two of them in a gallon freezer bag)

Tripling the recipe, I made 114 mini meatballs.

TIP! I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and stored it in the refrigerator while some were baking.

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