do your meatballs fall apart? (recipe: turkey & sausage meatballs)
They fall apart because you don't beat them. I am not kidding. When you make sausage or meatballs---even meatloaf---you want to develop the myosin in the meat. It doesn't take much 'beating,' but just a few minutes of stirring-with-intention will make a big difference in the texture of your ground meat. As the meat develops, it gets a little sticky. Then they hold their form and tend not to fall apart (okay----I am treading carefully here: you know there are a million meat-beating puns I am avoiding). Once you have beat the ingredients together, you form it into balls.
Okay these meatballs are fantastic. I make a big batch, cook some up for dinner and pop the rest into freezer bags (I love having homemade options at-the-ready in my freezer!). I love serving them with basic tomato sauce... and lately: sweet potato puree. Toss on a few roasted vegetables and dinner is served.
Turkey & Sausage Meatballs 1 LB ground turkey 1/2 LB ground Italian sausage 2 eggs 1/2 red onion, finely minced 1 T thyme dried 4 cloves garlic, minced S&P 1 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup Pecorino (or Parmesan or Grana Padano) optional: 2-3 T special sauce
Mix turkey and sausage in large mixing bowl. Toss in 2 eggs, the bread crumbs and baking soda and give a good few twists of salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Actually: beat it. I am not kidding; sometimes I even toss the meat in a mixer for 1-2 minutes. You want to give it some elbow grease and stir it with intention, so it develops the consistency you want. You will see the difference. (Taking a picture of raw meat... well lets just say a lot of food is pretty, but raw meatballs? But look closely at the raw meatballs, can you see tell they are 'sticky'? These have developed their myosin).
In skillet over medium/low, pour in 1-2 olive oil and butter. When sizzling, add onion, garlic (and sometimes I toss in some finely minced carrots) and saute to caramelize, 6-8 minutes. Let cool slightly, add to meat mix (my son doesn't like the crunch of 'raw' onions in meatballs, so I caramelize them first). Add grated cheese and any 'special sauce'. A little jelly perhaps? Chutney or salsa? My special sauce is actually a plum/peach/ginger jam. Mix all, form into balls and store some in the freezer for later. For tonight's dinner: saute meatballs until browned on all sides. Place in oven-proof dish and finish cooking the meatballs by popping them in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 350. Remove, add red sauce and serve.
Note: did anyone notice my error? Acidic foods don't belong in cast iron pans; adding tomato sauce to my cast iron pan to 'heat through' wasn't the best idea I had all day... read more about 10 things to know about your cast iron pan.