Going out for meatballs is a hit or miss. Sometimes, they’re not up to par with what you have in mind. They can be very chewy or not soft enough. You can solve the problem by creating the perfect meatballs at home. It’s not as difficult as you think. You only need a few ingredients and a set of basic kitchen equipment. You can save money, and you can have fun on this culinary journey.
Prepare the ground meat
The ground meat is the main ingredient for meatballs. You can use anything that you like. You may choose from ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, veal, or buffalo. Maybe you can even try a mixture of both. We recommend using both ground beef and ground pork.
The general rule is that the fattier your meat is, the softer the meatballs will be. That means that if you’re cooking lean meats, cook them slowly as they might end up tough and chewy.
Prepare a binder
A binder will help add moisture to the meatballs. This will make sure that your balls stay soft and moist. The simplest binder is a mixture of milk and breadcrumbs. Allow it to form a paste or until the bread becomes soggy. Mix your binder into the ground meat.
Other alternatives to bread include crumbled saltine crackers. You can also substitute milk with yogurt or buttermilk.
Don’t mix it too much
A common mistake that people make is overworking the meat. Mix the binder and meat together, preferably with your hands. If you don’t like the squishy sensation, opt for a stiff spatula or a spoon. Mix until the ingredients are equally dispersed. Don’t overdo it because you might mash up the ingredients. A very tender and bruised meat can compromise the resulting meatballs.
Get to cooking
You have two options to cook your meatballs. The easier one is to roast it. Take small scoops of the meat mixture and gently roll it between your palms to make a ball. Place it in a pan and then cook it under the broiler for a crispy outside. For a softer meatball, you can cook it in the oven. This method is perfect to refrigerate the meatballs for later.
The second option is to simmer it. Simmering is for when you intend to serve the meatballs with sauce. In this method, you shall cook the meatballs along with the sauce. This leaves you with tender balls that are packed with the flavors of your sauce.