Friday, December 16, 2011

Meatballs for a Crowd

For Halloween, I tried to make my kids some Rats Baked In Blood & Intestines, what was essentially a different name for Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I tried to form the meatballs to look like rats, but I guess I'm not artistic enough with food, and they just looked like really big meatballs.

It was a bit disappointing to look at the sad-almost-but-not-quite-a-rat meatballs, but when we tasted them, we were in heaven.  The meatballs were so moist and delicious, having been baked in the sauce, and coming from a family who has spaghetti on a weekly basis, everyone was thrilled at the new recipe.

The spaghetti sauce is amazing.  The Husband was disbelieving at first (who considers himself a sauce-making master), but when he tried it...he couldn't get enough.  It's a great sauce, and considering the fact that I even liked it (I don't like spaghetti sauce), that should sway you.

Ok, so don't get turned off when I say that the recipe calls for 4 pounds of meat.  Yes, I know that is a lot for an average family, but hear me out.  It makes a lot of meatballs, but that just means that you cook once, eat twice (or three times or four).  Making a freezer meal isn't really that complicated.  You are already doing the work of mixing the meatballs.  Simply follow my directions on how to freeze the rest of what you don't need that night, and you'll thank me when you go to use them at a later date.  Already done!  Yay.  I'll post instructions for freezing them at the end of the directions.

Another option for these meatballs, is to serve them at your next  party or get together.  They'll go fast, because once you get a bite of one, you'll keep coming back for more.  So much better than any store-bought processed meatball.  Seriously.  Let's get cookin'.

Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce

2 pounds ground pork
1 pound ground hamburger
1 pound Italian sausage
1 1/2 cups diced onion
3 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup regular Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried parsley

Mix everything together until it is thoroughly combined (I use my kitchen aid mixer).  Scoop out a meatball-sized amount, roll between your palms until it is a ball, and place it on a well-greased casserole pan (or any oven-safe pan that has high enough edges to keep the spaghetti sauce from dripping over).  Continue until all the meatballs are rolled out.  For me, this made approximately 52 meatballs.

(If you are freezing the meatballs, simply line them on a greased cookie sheet and place in the freezer until they are completely frozen (a few hours), then remove from pan and store in a double-lined Ziploc Freezer Bag until ready to use.  You may bake them directly from the freezer, after placing on a well-greased baking pan, using the temperature stated, but allow for extra cooking time because they are frozen.  You can also freeze the spaghetti sauce separately in a Ziploc bag.  If you want the meatballs baked with the sauce, simply thaw the sauce and pour over and around the meatballs before baking.)

Make the spaghetti sauce (see recipe below) and pour over and around the meatballs.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-35 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.  Serve with spaghetti noodles.

Spaghetti Sauce:
2 (28 oz ea) cans of Crushed Tomatoes
1 jar of your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp each of salt and pepper
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Mix together until well incorporated.  Taste sauce and adjust for seasonings if it needs more for your liking.  You can pour desired amount over meatballs, and bake until the meatballs are done.  This makes the meatballs so nice and juicy. Or, you can heat through in a saucepan, and serve when hot.  This sauce freezes well, in a double-lined Ziploc Freezer bag for up to six months.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Hi Shaina, I have been a "lurker" on your blog for quite awhile. I think i may have commented once in awhile. I so enjoy reading about your activities and your family. I am a BIG Italian food fan and am copying this yummy recipe for the meatballs and sauce. Thanks for sharing.
A grandma in Ohio.