Monday, January 24, 2011

Meatballs, the best way to celebrate the new year. Somewhere.

Welcome to the triumphant return of Cast Iron Therapy. It's a new year, a new life and a fresh slate. What says new better than turning several pounds of meat into delectable meatballs? I suppose cleaning out your files or going into a wilderness retreat might be for some people, but that's not my style. But lets get to the nitty gritty, or in this case, the meaty bally. 

The recipe I've chosen to follow today is adapted from Henry Hill's The Wise Guy Cookbook: My Favorite Recipes From My Life as a Goodfella to Cooking on the Run. Yes, that is a mouthful. Just like these meatballs! 

As for grinding technique, I've learned that from the fantastic fellows at The Paupered Chef.

Now let's get to it. First I've got the meat on hand. Notice the carefully measured bags that make things convenient after a recent Costco run.

Actually I didn't use that meat, I used this meat instead, which was still weighed, but no reason to waste extra bags since I'm using the meat promptly. 

The meat is then sliced up and mixed together in a bowl...

Which is then put into the freezer for thirty minutes before grinding. This is to prevent the fat from melting as you grind it.  

Oh Kitchen Aid Food Grinder, how I love thee. 

So yeah, I used the grinder.

 My arm isn't that pasty, really. It's the flash, I swear.

All in all, it's looking ok so far, so lets get onto the other ingredients.

Now to add the character to the meat. Salt, pepper, a couple of eggs for binding, garlic, onion, dried parsley and some home made bread crumbs. I find that the seasoned bread crumbs work fantastically as well. Not pictured is grated parmesan cheese, can't forget that. Even though I did. Stop judging me.

The requisite dicing an onion shot!

I'm refraining from an onion to anatomy joke. You're welcome.

Now add the eggs.

Give it a good mix with the hands. Yes, it will be cold. I have no help for you other than bearing with it, you strong rugged individual you.

The minced garlic...

Onion, cheese and bread crumbs....

And the salt, pepper and parsley all get thrown in for glory.

Mix it up, smile at your brother, ask him if he wants meatballs, then inform him too bad, that's what he's getting later. Form this into meatballs, any size you like, but adjusting cooking time as you need to depending on your needs. If you'll be cooking this in a sauce later, as I did, you don't need to be too careful, details shortly.

And voila done! I think I'm forgetting something. Oh right.

A good thick film of canola oil works well on cast iron pan, over a medium high heat. Cook each meatball to brown all over, a few minutes each turn, but don't worry if it's not fully cooked if you'll be putting it in a sauce later, as the sauce will help to cook it. I find tongs are a wonderful tool for this step.

And here they are, enjoy. May your new year be meaty and bally.


  1. I must admit sir, after reading this I lust for kitchen aid attachments the way an iphone addict lusts for more apps.

  2. Well I'm flattered! I too have an unhealthy desire for more such awesomeness.