We love meatballs at our house. My family is crazy about my meatballs! The soft texture of the Italian version with Parmesan cheese in them are delicious when they are added to a spaghetti sauce.
Or the slightly crisp exterior of a meatball with some gravy next to a mound of mashed potatoes.
I start with lean ground beef, onion, eggs, Club crackers, bread crumbs and my seasoned salt.
Regular Meatballs for meatballs and gravy
4 - 5 pounds lean ground beef
8 to 10 club crackers, crushed fine
3 slices of bread, (I used the ends of the loaf if I have them), processed until fine in a food processor
3 eggs, wash the shells off, never know if they are clean enough for your impeccably clean hands
1/2 large Vidalia onion (if you want more onion, go ahead!) chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoon of my seasoned salt (see recipe below)
If making Italian add 2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Using your impeccably clean hands, place the meat in a large bowl and separate across the bowl so it is not in one big lump. Dump the crackers and bread crumbs on top, then the onions, sprinkle the seasoning on top and break the raw eggs into the bowl too. Now rinse your hands and leave them wet. Now mix and kneed everything together with your hands until it is all incorporated. If you wanted to, you could use your dough hook on your Kitchen Aide Mixer.
Here is where I half my recipe. Divide the meat in half and place half in another bowl, add one tablespoon of Italian Seasoning and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and mix by hand well.
Spray a jelly-roll pan with Pam Original Spray. Using a small ice cream scoop, I use the Pampered Chef small scoop, scoop good size scoop of meat mixture about the size of a silver dollar, continue doing this until you have about 5 in 7 rows, then roll into balls into your hand. Do the same with the Italian style meatballs. Preheat the oven to 350 when you start rolling the Italian ones. You will end up with about 55 meatballs. Use something to separate the Italian version from the regular meatballs.
Bake about 15 minutes, pour any fat that has collected in the bottom of the pan off, flip the meatballs over, turn the pan 180, and bake an addional 15 minutes or until they look like this (you know your oven better than I do):
Pour off the fat again and remove the meat balls to a pan, let cool and place the quantity you need in individual Ziploc bags, I place 6 to a back knowing I can take out as many bags as I need. Then place each type in a separate large freezer bag, mark them regular and Italian and freeze. Pull out as needed.
My claim to fame with this recipe comes from my family, who say they are the best meatballs they have ever tasted.
Now for the seasoned salt recipe
1 cup salt
1/8 cup pepper
1/8 cup garlic powder
1/8 cup onion powder.
I place all these ingredients in a peanut butter jar and shake well. I have a fetish for peanut butter jars as you can see right in the photo of the apple pie mixture.
It is a great seasoning for everything. My hubby especially likes it on his morning fried or boiled eggs.
Enjoy the meatballs and come back often!