Also, we have a guest photographer who held the phone (What? Me? Afford a camera?) while I had icky raw-meat hands. Yes, Marcus (who you may have seen tasting what is to date my favorite creation on this site) gets credit for just about every picture with raw meat in it and also for cranking half of the meat through the grinder.
|If raw-meat pictures make you squeamish, just remember we end up at this lovely place.|
3 pounds ground beef
3-4 slices bread
Salt, pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves
½ c. flour
Heat oven to 350°.* Grease a large cookie sheet very well.
Soak bread in for a few milk to cover until thoroughly mushy, breaking it up as it softens. Mince the garlic or shove it in a garlic press.† Mix the flour and paprika in a large, flat pan or bowl.
Mix everything else with the bread mush. Shape into balls the size you like, and put them a few at a time (how many depends on how broad your flouring dish is- I used a big frying pan and got six at once). Roll them until well-coated--- the flour coating helps the sauce stick.
Bake until done- mine were about 1" diameter and took 30 minutes.
*If you like, you can try cooking them in a skillet which is the more usual way. When I try to, I end up with meat-squished instead of meatballs. And you can't tell you cooked them differently once you've got them in the sauce.
†If you're grinding the beef yourself, just shove the garlic cloves through the grinder with the meat.
We start with 3 pounds of sirloin (it was on sale!!!!), and trim off the fat.
|Does anyone else find themselves using their sewing kit for cooking?|
|I already had to wash the scissors anyway.|
|...but first, a crapton of unground pepper!|
|One of the best moments of my recent life.|
|Yes, every now and then you get to fish this out.|
|It's like a meat grinder sheepdog.|
|This is also a tasty way to get rid of questionable-looking mushrooms.|
|Yes, this is my mixing bowl.|
|Don't bother even trying with the wooden spoon.|
|Pictured: a little paprika.|
|I'd just like to say that the scoop was a present from my sister's sister. I love it when people give me things I use rather than decorative stuff; I think of them every time I get it out.|
|Also, it's 2:30AM and you haven't had supper yet.|
By the way, we ended up with not one but two pans of these.
|Man, I could have bought 3 pounds of ground beef and been here 2 hours ago.|
|This is why the pan's not just greased, but well greased.|
...Yeah, some of the flour stayed white which looks kind of unnerving. But it's totally worth coating the meatballs in it because then you put them in the sauce, clap the lid on the pot and shake to coat, and...
Italian cookbooks often mention a sprinkling of cheese with your spaghetti. I may have overdone it.
|Moderation is for people who have restraint.|
So now, we answer the question: is it better to grind beef yourself? ...Well, I couldn't tell. They're definitely better than those frozen meatballs you can get by the sack. The texture was definitely better than the cheap ground beef with mystery stuff added- they were very firm. They may have tasted better, but since we threw in 4 garlic cloves, a box of mushrooms, and an ungodly amount of pepper, I couldn't really tell.
|Also, green glass plates make your meatballs look purple on the inside.|