Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mamma's No Recipe Cookin' - Meatballs!

Who doesn't love a good meatball?

Meatballs can definitely be mastered recipe free. I've been making them for years and have never used a recipe.

On this particular day, I cooked them in my slow cooker. They can also be baked in a 375 degree oven for about fifteen minutes or until cooked through. If you like a crispiness to the outside of your meatball, then it would be best to sear the outside of the meatballs in a skillet and then finish them up in the oven.

The essentials (for about 4-5 servings): One pound of ground meat - I used turkey on this day, but you can experiment with others too. Beef is pretty fool-proof. Chicken could be used, but may be a little dry so maybe compensate by adding a little milk or another egg. Lamb would work well. I think that pork would probably be a little too greasy by itself, put it's great to combine with a different meat. You can also combine ground sausage with other meats for a lot of flavor.

The Lineup
Other essentials - Eggs, Breadcrumbs, Salt, Pepper, and Garlic.

If you are cooking these in a slow cooker, another essential would be some type of liquid. I used some marinara mixed with red wine. You could also use stock with some type of thickening agent, like flour or cornstarch.

Nice-to-Haves: Onion, Italian flat-leaf parsley, other seasonings.

 Now put your meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl. I use two eggs per pound of meat. For the breadcrumbs, a large handful or probably about 1/2 to 3/4 cups. But remember, this is No-Recipe Cookin'. Get comfortable with not measuring. Make sure to use a decent amount of salt, pepper, garlic and any other seasonings. Unfortunately, there's no taste test for this one until after they're cooked. But if they're bland, then you didn't use enough! I know, pretty obvious. If that's the case, just use more next time.

 If you are using onion or parsley, chop or food process them into very small pieces. I used about a half of an onion. I actually didn't have parsley on this day, so I substituted fresh spinach. Add the chopped onions and parsley (or spinach) to the mixture.
 Now get your hands dirty and mix that all together.
 Roll the mixture into about 1 1/2 inch meatballs. If using a slow cooker, spray it with non-stick spray and place the meatballs into the slow cooker before adding any liquid. If baking, place them onto a broiler pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
 In a slow cooker, pour your liquid onto the top of your meatballs - a splash (or cup!) of wine.
 Then the marinara.
 A couple of bay leaves for more flavor.
Cook for 4 hours in the slow cooker on high. Serve over pasta or in sandwiches. Enjoy!


  1. What a waste of perfectly good wine!!! ;)

  2. But wine makes everything better, I mean taste better! :)

  3. I'm going to remember this one! Once in a blue moon I make meatballs and I am always looking online for a new recipe. Thanks Rebecca :)


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