Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let's Talk About Meatballs


Before tonight, I had made meatballs a whopping two whole times in my entire life.  The first time I had a feeling I hadn't cooked them all the way through and was convinced that I was going to poison us and the second time I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Comfort Meatballs (also pages 172 & 173 in her cookbook).  I liked them but her step-by-step was geared toward having the meatballs be the main course, not part of an Italian feast.

For a couple of reasons, I had a lot of creative energy that I needed to burn off today.  Since it was quite literally pouring snow for most of the day and I was stuck inside, I decided to focus my energy in the kitchen. 

Bruce was a fan.

After Maura's Italian Feast last week, I have been slowly building up my nerve to try meatballs again.  So I pulled out PW's cookbook and decided to prepare them with her ingredients, but cook them partially using the method my dad always uses and partially using the method Maura used.

Side note - Black Heels to Tractor Wheels came out today and I couldn't go out and get a copy!  Maybe my mom will come rescue me in her AWD tomorrow?

I heated up my dutch oven with some olive oil and seared the meatballs until they were nice and brown.  Then I added in one jar of sauce (I used Frank's Marinara Sauce for the first time - it was incredible!) with a little bit of water and seasoned it with garlic and oregano.  I covered the whole thing and brought the sauce to a boil.  Once it was boiling, I brought everything down to a simmer and stirred it often.  At that point I just let the heat of the sauce finish cooking the meatballs.  I probably let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes (I'm paranoid about under-cooking meat).


Served with a side of garlic bread.

The whole process was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I think the dutch oven actually made things a little bit easier because I could sear the meat and heat up the sauce in the same pan, and it was also really deep so things didn't bubble over.

Next time I'll grab my camera and post a step-by-step but when I'm trying something like this for the first time I need all hands on deck counter otherwise I get flustered. :)


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