Alton Brown’s Baked Meatballs

I got Alton Brown’s Good Eats cookbook series for Christmas last year and they have been having a good workout since then.  Alton Brown is my celebrity crush chef. His logic behind certain cook steps are backed up with science and many times, his recipes doesn’t fail. This meatball recipe is so versatile, you can use them in pasta sauces, soup or my personal favourite, on a sub. They also freeze very well so you can make a big batch and freeze them to use on lazy cooking days. Pat loves this recipe a lot and the best part is that you can sneak spinach in it without the taste. A big plus if you have kids who alienate greens.

Alton Brown’s Baked Meatballs

Total: 40 Mins

Prep: 20 Mins

Cook: 20 Mins

Yield: 18 Balls

Ingredients

8oz ground pork
8oz pound ground lamb
8oz pound ground beef, extra lean
5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained thoroughly *(see notes)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 whole egg
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided *(see notes)
Steps
  1.  Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, lamb,beef,spinach,cheese, egg, parsley,basil,garlic powder,salt, red pepper flakes and 1/4cup breadcrumbs.
  3. Using your hands ( I usually wear gloves cause I don’t like the meat under my nails), mix all the ingredients until well incorporated. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hrs.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs into a small deep bowl or mug. Shrink wrap  the platform of your digital scale.Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  5. Working like a good factory worker, weight out 1.5oz portion of meat mixture onto the baking pan.Repeat until all the meat mixture is used up.
  6. Once all the meat is weighed out, return to the first portion and roll them between your hands.Repeat for the rest of the meatballs.
  7. When that is complete, return to the first ball and place the ball in the bowl of breadcrumbs. Swirl the meatball so the breadcrumbs coat the ball. This would help further the ball shaping too. Repeat this step for the rest of the meatballs
  8. Place the meatballs back on the baking pan OR on a mini muffin tin. The muffin tin helps to keep the meatballs in place so I prefer to use or buy a mini muffin tin than to have all the balls rolling around.
  9. Bake for 20 mins or until a touch golden brown, turning them over halfway through.
  10. Let the meatballs cool for 5 mins before serving. Or directly into sauce, soup or a sub.
  11. Allow the meatballs to cool thoroughly before placing them in a zip-lock bag for freezing, They will keep up to 3 months. Just place them into your sauce/soup or microwave them when you take them out for your next meal.

Note: Alternatively, you can use fresh spinach and boil them then chop. I also usually use pre-grated Parmesan cheese like those you pour on pasta cause I am lazy that way. I know, don’t judge me. For breadcrumbs, you can sub in Panko instead cause not everyone has the time to make croutons and blend them. You can also change the meat ( op out lamb, add more beef and pork), just make sure you keep the ratio the same AND DON’T SKIP OUT THE SPINACH. It acts as a filler to hold everything in place.

 Recipe by Alton Brown
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