The Chef John’s Italian Meatballs are a classic dish that can be served in a variety of ways. They can be used in a pasta dish, served with a sauce, or even eaten on their own. These are called Italian meatballs because they include ground beef and pork. But you can easily adjust the recipe to use whatever meat you prefer.
The meatballs are baked in a pan with a tomato sauce, which makes them very tender and flavorful. In a quest to try new recipes and keep home-style food in our homes, I am sharing famous cook Chef John‘s Italian meatballs recipe.
Meatballs require no fancy equipment; the only thing you need is a good food processor to make the ground meat mixture. After that, it’s just browning the meatballs, simmering the sauce, and mixing in cream.
What is Meatballs?
Ever wondered what a meatball is made of? Let me tell you, they’re not only meat! You know that classic dish which you see in Italy. That’s right, it’s called Bolognese (or so I like to call it) and so let me tell you exactly why this dish is famous all over the world. Ahem… It can be prepared with ground beef, veal, or pork mixed with Parmesan cheese, eggs parsley, and onions.
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Can I use flour instead of breadcrumbs in meatballs?
Flour is not a suitable replacement for breadcrumbs, it will make the meatball thick and gummy without adding any of the desired flavor or texture that breadcrumbs provide. If you didn’t have bread crumbs, you could: soak 2 pieces of white bread in milk and squish that into your meatball mix OR add an extra egg for binding OR sub in some crushed dry plain cereal (think plain cornflakes or Chex, plain Cheerios)
Bread crumbs are used to bind meatballs together. When you cook a chicken breast without bread crumbs and flour, it turns out very mushy instead of being solid. If you didn’t have bread crumbs, you could: soak 2 pieces of white bread in milk and squish that into your meatball mix, or soak 2 Tbsp crushed dry plain cereal (think plain cornflakes or Chex, plain Cheerios) for 30 minutes in 5 Tbsp boiling water then squish that mixture into your meatball mix (this is called a binder).
This recipe from Chef John at Food Wishes is a great way to do meatballs. See the recipe card below.
Chef John’s Italian meatballs
- 1 Oven
- 1 Cast iron skillet
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup finely dry bread crumbs
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of whole milk
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped green pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ⅓ tsp black pepper
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- some finely chopped parsley
- Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray, then cover with aluminum foil.
- Next, soak bread crumbs in milk in a small bowl or pot for 20 minutes. Add oil and seasonings, stuffing will be really good then – try it out!
- Now heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium flame. Cook and stir the onions in hot oil until they are translucent about 20 minutes.
- In an extra-large bowl, stir the meat together with the bread crumb mixture, egg, onions, and garlic – coating everything evenly. Add the parsley, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper – then finish with a generous amount of cheese!
- Please ensure that your oven is switched on and set to a temperature that's at least 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Takeformed beef mixture and roll into the balls about 1.5 inches in diameter. Arrange into cookie sheet. There's no need to use extra flour.
- Bake in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.