Thursday, June 27, 2013
Meatballs Baked and with gravy
I've been thinking about meatballs lately. I've actually been thinking about meatballs a LOT! I made the meatloaf cupcakes last week which are already a thing of legend in this house *I WILL blog that one in a couple of days.
A friend told me my meatloaf cupcakes were, in fact, meat muffins. For reasons unknown, that cracked me up completely, that's ridiculous. My committee is pretty confident that while meatloaf can be cupcakes it cannot be muffins. He said meat muffins sounds like a term of endearment, yeah, a weird one. I don't make meat muffins. I make meat loaf, meat balls and meat cupcakes...
Anyway, I also make a regular old 'free-form' meatloaf about once a month. I always make a gigantic one because I think everyone prefers the day after meatloaf cheeseburgers and sandwiches almost as much as the original meal.
I was going to cook my FAMOUS pressure cooker meatballs here , which, by the way is the highest visited post on my blog! I prepared to pressure cook them and then I thought, no, I'm going to go old school and new school. Actually I made it up as I went along. I used the kitchen aid and then I fried then I baked.
These are high maintenance meatloaf balls and they're worth it. I am delighted, simply, purely, delighted with the outcome.
This is a method. I have no NO idea whatsoever as to amounts. Add what you like, this is one of my method recipes. Add more of what you like and less of what you don't.
TRACY'S BAKED MEATBALLS WITH GRAVY
2 lbs ground beef
2 inch slice of white bread, soaked in enough milk to make it a soft paste
spicy, grain mustard
smoked paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper
dry bread crumbs
stock or water
HERES the method, the commentary and the pictures:
In the bowl of the kitchen aid! Yeah, I'm going mechanical today, put a thick slice of bread, broken up, with enough milk to make it a gooey baby food mess. Crack in two eggs, a HEAVY grating of nutmeg, some ketchup and some mustard
SQUIRT it in. Then grate half an onion into the bowl then add loads of pepper and a little salt
Ahh Worcestershire sauce, how could we live without you. Add in some smoked paprika, more if you love it, less if you don't. Put it on the mixer and let it go, low speed just to combine it all.
Drop in the meat and let it roll around a few times, just to combine it. Mine was a little wet so I added some dry breadcrumbs. We want moist but able to make a decent ball. These ARE meatballs afterall
Ah, lovely. In the name of equality, I decided to measure them out, each 3.0 ounces. LOVELY! Now, melt some butter and oil in a pan. The butter is from Dutch Meatballs and the oil is from other meatballs so together, we have MY meatballs
Put some flour in the now empty bowl of the kitchen aid, c'mon, don't wash it or get a new bowl, nothing is going to get you if you toss the balls in flour in the bowl they just came out of, trust me. Also the kitchen aid bowl is very deep and has the bump in the bottom, it rolls balls beautifully.
Add salt and loads of pepper to the flour and mix it up. Coat the balls lightly with flour and put them on the counter, ready to be introduced to the hot butter and oil.
Introduce the balls to the very hot butter and oil. Do not move them about or shake them. Let them sit and enjoy and brown and get the crust that we are going to be fighting over later. When the balls are dark brown, turn them gently and let them continue to brown on the other side. In the mean time, find a vessel that will hold the balls in a single layer.
Turn the balls, gently, and let them brown on all 4 sides and then transfer them to the waiting vessel. Then cook the second batch.
Now, the pan. That is full of butter, meat juices, fat and all the flavor from these balls. There's flour in there to thicken the sauce. We're going to use it. Crank the heat and pour in your best chicken stock. IF you don't have any, use water.
BOIL it for a few minutes, look at the color. Yeah, then add a little butter. Then add a little cream and let it boil. I added more pepper because I like it.
When it's boiled for a minute or two and tastes fabulous ( you'd better be tasting! ) then strain (I didn't want the little bits from the bottom which had become a little charred for my liking) the sauce over the balls to come half way up them. Don't you just want to eat them now? In their caramel colored bath. Honestly, sometimes I don't know if I want to take them out to eat or jump in with them.
Cover the balls tightly with foil and pop them into a 300 degree oven for about an hour.
THE REVEAL! Tender, rich, delicious, a total and complete KEEPER recipe.
I'm eating this one for you, for science of course. I'm that willing to sacrifice myself
I'm going to make mashed potatoes to have with them, I'll post some pictures when I'm done. In the meantime, go make meatballs