I loved Joelen's tip about using a mini-muffin pan to bake the meatballs in a single large batch. Sadly, I don't own a mini-muffin pan so decided to take my chances on just putting it on a rimmed cookie sheet. Worked like a charm except that only the bottom (the part touching the pan) had a golden crust to it. I'd imagine the same would be true even if I had used a muffin pan and they are covered in sauce anyway so who's looking. This was a huge time saver and convenience so you can bet that I'll be using this method in other meatball applications :).
Now, I only had spaghetti noodles at the time but I think traditionally you'd serve this over more of an egg or broad flat noodle. Good thing I have my giant 40 box stockpile of free pasta to work through so that next time I can do it right :P. Yeah...remind me to tell you about that story sometime...
By the way...my 2nd blogiversary is coming up on April 9th! I'm going to have my FIRST EVER give-away in honor of that so check back later this week for a post on how you can enter to win!
One Year Ago: The Easiest White Bean Chicken Chili
For the meatballs:
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup half & half or heavy cream
- 2 medium sized dinner rolls, torn into small pieces
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 small onion, grated on large holes of box grater
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 pound ground beef (80-85% lean)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 cup caramelized mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream (optional)
- 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
- Whisk egg and cream together in medium bowl. Stir in bread and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat pork, onion, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary.
- Using fork, mash bread mixture until no large dry bread chunks remain; add mixture to mixer bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute, scraping bowl as necessary.
- Add beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as necessary.
- Using a small or medium ice cream scoop, form meatballs with wet hands and set aside; repeat with remaining mixture to form 25 to 30 meatballs.
- Spray a mini-muffin pan or rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place individual meatballs into each muffin well or evenly space them on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Transfer browned meatballs to paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. When foaming subsides, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until flour is light brown, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth. Add brown sugar and caramelized mushrooms and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream (if using) and return to simmer.
- Add meatballs to sauce and simmer, turning occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve.