Friday, March 10, 2017
My meatballs and sauce
Some recipes are oldies but goodies. The ones you've been making over and over again, year after year.
I've been making these meatballs and this sauce recipe for over 30 years. I did post both of these recipes before but it was many moons ago when my blog was in it's infancy stage and I've tweaked the recipes slightly over the year.
I think back sometimes to the many recipes that I never wrote down. I just threw them together. I bit of this and that, and maybe next time a bit more of this and a little less than that. While it worked for me, it wasn't helpful to people who wanted to make my recipes, and as I get older, I'd love to have a written history (maybe dare I say a cookbook) to share with my children, family and friends. Now that life has slowed down a bit for me, I just might have time to work on one!
So this is my sauce recipe, written and re-written from an older version I had.Basically the same recipe but a small addition (grated onion) and something new (panko!). The sauce I've been making the same way for ages. It's just your traditional pasta sauce. I often will cook some kind of meat to throw into it, but it's just fine the way it is too.
The convenience of throwing it in the crock pot and letting it cook low and slow all day makes this a no-brainer!
So written down for my someday daughter-in-laws and someday grandchildren I bring you my meatballs and sauce!
As my Dad always says "Mangia, mangia!!
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
3 pounds ground chuck
1 cup bread crumbs (I use panko)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup grated Romano cheese (or grated cheese of your choice)
1 small Spanish (red) onion, grated
4 or 5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/3 cup fresh chopped basil
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Get out a large bowl to mix this all in. The first thing I do is put in the ground beef and then I take my grater and grate as much of the onion as I can. I usually grate te onion over a bowl to capture the juices as well. It's good stuff, put it in the bowl! Mix in the rest of the ingredients and get your hands in there. Yes your hand. Just get them in there and get mixing. Try not to over-mix, stop one the mixture comes together. If it seems a little loose add a bit more breadcrumbs, too dry add a little more milk.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking oil. Roll each meatball the size of golf ball. This recipe makes about 50 meatballs. Cook for approximately 30 - 35 minutes. I usually check them at the 20 minute make and turn them a bit. Don't worry if they are still a tad pink in the center, thrown them in the sauce to let them cook a bit more.
If 49 meatballs is too much for you (it never is for us), you can freeze them for use later.
*Freezer tip. Place cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze for about an hour and a half, or until meatballs seem firm. Place in a freezer bag or container. These thaw nicely in a big pot of sauce.
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 - 6 cloves of minced garlic
3 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 6oz can tomato paste
3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 bay leaves
Heaping tablespoon of Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons parsley
In a large skillet heat enough olive oil just to cover the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. When it’s good and hot throw in your onions and give the pan a good pinch of salt. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent. When they are almost done, add the garlic and let it cook for about a minute with the onions. Turn heat off and set aside.
Now get your crock pot out and open up 3 can of the crushed tomatoes. As I empty each can, I rinse it out with a little bit of water that I throw back into the crock pot. You don’t want to add a lot of water back in, just enough to rinse the sauce away from the side of the can, maybe about a tablespoon of water for each can. Add in the tomato paste, bay leaves, some fresh basil if you have it, if not dried it fine. I use fresh herbs whenever possible, but sometimes you just can’t get fresh, especially here in the winter. Grab a good heaping tablespoon full of dried Italian seasoning and rub it between the palms of your hands and put that in the pot. This helps release some of the essential oils, and will add more flavor to your sauce. Now grab the pan of onions and garlic and add those in and give it all a good stir. I let this cook on low in the crock pot all day (about 6 hours). You could cook it on high if you are in a hurry, but I would still let it cook a minimum of 4 hrs.
Things I add in from time to time:
Most times I will cook up some spare ribs, or pork chops, or a cheap cut of steak and add that in. Really any meat will do. I always cook the meat about ½ way through before. Sometimes I will grab a stick of pepperoni and chop it into big pieces and throw it in. Experiment with what you like and make it your own. This recipe makes a lot of sauce but you can freeze what you don’t use then just defrost it and re-heat.