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Big Batch Meatballs

A big batch of meatballs is a wonderful thing to have on hand—this formula is easily doubled, and the meatballs can be simmered in sauce to cook straight from the freezer. (Make them smaller if you’d like them to cook through more quickly.) You can also brown them in a pan and use them in other ways—to stuff in soft buns, or serve in a creamy Swedish-style sour cream sauce, or cook and plate on their own for kids who like to nibble on bite-sized foods.

- Julie Van Rosendaal

Big Batch Meatballs

Total Time:

1hrs 15mins

Prep:

30mins

Cook:

45mins

Skill Level:

Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sauce:
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 28 oz can whole or San Marzano-style tomatoes (whole in tomato puree)
  • 1 28 oz (540 mL) can crushed tomatoes

How to Make It

1.

Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl and pour the milk over it.

2.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes, until the crumbs soak up the milk, then add the beef, pork, egg, parsley, Parmesan, and some salt and pepper.

3.

Mix it all up with your hands, but be gentle— don’t overwork the mixture.

4.

Shape the meat mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball, and if you like, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to freezer bags to freeze for up to 6 months.

5.

To make the sauce, heat a drizzle of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat, and cook the garlic for a minute, without letting it brown.

6.

Pour in the tomatoes, give everything a stir and add a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes.

7.

Break up any large chunks of tomato with a spoon.

8.

To cook the meatballs, carefully drop them into the simmering sauce. You might not fit them all into your pot—leave the rest to simmer after the first has been cooked, or freeze them for another batch.

9.

Cover the pot with a lid and leave it to simmer. Don't stir—you don't want to break your meatballs apart before they set. They should cook through in about 20 minutes.

10.

Serve over pasta, with more Parmesan to pass at the table.

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