My daughter is pretty adverse to meat, but when I offer spaghetti for dinner, she'll usually request meatballs. Rather than serve frozen, pre-cooked meatballs, I prefer to make them from scratch. It's pretty easy and you can make a big batch to freeze for later. This way, you pick the meats you like and can adjust the meat-to-bread ratio to taste.
First, gather your ingredients. I try to keep a few containers of chopped veggies in the fridge for moments like this, as a time-saver. If you are starting from whole vegetables, it may take about 10 minutes to prep. If you have pre-chopped vegetables available, you could probably have everything mixed in about 5 minutes if you work quickly.
- 1 pound ground chuck (or 1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground pork)
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1-2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup spinach, chopped (optional)
- 1 slice of stale bread
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 eggs, lightly whisked
- In a bowl, mix the shallots, carrots, garlic, cilantro, and spinach.
- Cut the bread into small pieces. In the photo above, I used pieces that were too big. You'll want at least half that size or some meatballs may fall apart while simmering.
- Add the bread, meat, and egg, and mix everything together. You may need two eggs if you're using lean meat.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Form golf ball sized meatballs and set aside.
- Heat a dutch oven or saucepan with a small amount of oil and brown the meatballs.
- Drain excess fat, if you'd like, and add your favorite spaghetti sauce.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked to at least 160 degrees.