ATK The Best Meatballs

I actually agree with America's Test Kitchen's title for this recipe; these are seriously the best meatballs I have ever eaten. There was so much flavor from the bread and the parmesan and then the texture! What a delightful crunch and moist, tender centers. Wow.

The book says this texture comes from the bread paste, which is called "panada" in Italian cooking. "It helps bind together the meat and flavorings. We found that fresh bread did a better job...The buttermilk also has a subtle, tangy flavor, making these meatballs the absolute best we've ever tasted."
2 slices white sandwich bread (I used sliced sourdough)
1/3 C buttermilk
3/4 pound ground beef (I skipped the pork and did 1 pound of beef)
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 large egg yolk
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
Remove and discard the crusts from the bread, then tear the bread into small pieces. Mash the bread pieces and buttermilk to a smooth paste in a large bowl, using a fork. (I eventually got in there with my fingers because the sourdough was pretty resilient.)

Add the meat, Parmesan, parsley, yolk, garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper to the mashed bread. Stir the mixture gently until combined and uniform. Gently form the mixture into 1 1/2" round meatballs. You'll get about 12.

Oil a skillet (I used a cast iron). Heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and discard the oil left in the pan.

Place the skillet with any browned bits over medium heat and add the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs. Continue to simmer, turning the meatballs occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

While the meatballs are simmering, it's a good time to boil your spaghetti.

Makes 12 meatballs, serves 4, from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

No comments: