There’s nothing like a good meatball—they’re a must-have in pasta, and a meatball sub with melted provolone just hits the spot. However, it can be challenging to find a good recipe, as they vary wildly in ingredients and results. The idea of the perfect meatball might be subjective, but we can all agree on a few things. The ideal meatball must be tender (not dried out or overcooked to hardness) and delicately spiced (not super salty or bland). Here’s our perfect meatball formula—maybe it’ll be yours, too.
THE BASICS OF MEATBALL MAKING
Choosing the right meat is the first step. If your meat is very lean, the meatballs will not be very tender as they lack fat. We like to use an 80% lean (20% fat) Wagyu Ground Beef. You can mix beef and ground pork, or beef and ground turkey or chicken. Don’t use too much poultry because we need that good fat in the meatballs. The leaner your meat, the more you will have to be careful not to overcook the meatballs into toughness. You can mix in some ground sirloin if you’re feeling decadent!
WHAT GETS ADDED TO THE MEAT
Meatballs are not just meat, and here is where things get personal. Some people swear by putting eggs into the mixture, and some say only breadcrumbs will do. Some people add Italian seasoning, and some add fresh onions as well. We think all of these are great ideas, so we’re going to do them all in our perfect meatball recipe. We like to soak breadcrumbs in milk for a bit, making it an excellent binder and adding moisture. Eggs increase the richness and flavor. You could use dried Italian seasoning, but we like to use fresh parsley, onion, and garlic with salt and pepper instead. Grate your fresh onion to make sure it’s small enough.