Updated: Jun 23, 2020
This is one of my most requested recipes. Every one of my family members and friends that have tried these meatballs, immediately fell in love with them at first bite.
These fresh herb meatballs are tender and moist. They are made with simple ingredients that give the best flavour. .
Combining minced beef and pork together makes them richer. Minced beef on it’s own can be tough and dry, adding pork gives you a juicier, softer texture.
When choosing ground beef, don’t buy lean ground beef but get about 85% lean to 15% fat ratio. If the meat is very lean, I sometimes add a little bit of extra fat like a tablespoon of olive oil or some raw chopped bacon.
Using fresh herbs, such as sage, parsley and rosemary is the real secret! I know it can be easier to use dried herbs, but believe me, you will have a totally different result.
Either bread crumbs or milk soaked bread can be used. I prefer to use milk soaked bread because there is something about this old traditional way that creates tastier, more tender meatballs.
Finely dicing onions and grating fresh garlic also infuses more flavour.
Parmesan cheese has 3 different aging times in the making process, it can be aged for 18, 24 or 36 months. Usually it’s printed on the packet how long it’s been matured for.
Meatballs are best using 18 or 24 month Parmesan. If you use a cheese that has been aged for 36 months, the taste is too strong and will mask the other ingredients.
Serves 5 - Preparation time 15 min - Cooking time 40 min
2 slices bread, crusts removed
½ cup milk
400g minced pork (or 200g minced pork + 200g minced beef)
1 medium size shallot (or a small onion), finely chopped
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 small egg
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, one finely grated, the other crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
40g all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs fresh sage
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
2 small onions, roughly sliced
200g small carrots, whole or roughly sliced
100ml white wine
250ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh cream (optional)
1. MIXING THE INGREDIENTS
Soak the bread in milk. Once it has softened, squeeze the milk out and add the bread to the mince. Add the shallot, mustard, egg, parsley, Parmesan and grated garlic to the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix all together, kneading with hands for a few minutes. Let it rest for about 30 minutes in the fridge. When ready form into meatball shapes and pat them with flour.
2. COOKING THE MEATBALLS
Melt the butter and oil in a pan, then add the seasoning of crushed garlic, sage and rosemary. Suate for one minute. Add the onions, saute for 5 minutes. Add meatballs to the pan browning them over a gentle heat. Next add the carrots and white wine. Let the wine evaporate. Finally, pour the stock in, cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
A minute before the end of the cooking time mix in the cream (optional) and serve hot.
CAN I FRY THEM INSTEAD?
Yes you can! Melt the butter and oil in a pan, then add seasoning of crushed garlic, sage and rosemary. Add the meatballs, slightly flattened, cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping them a few times.
I usually make up big batches of meatballs and freeze them, either raw or cooked. You can also store cooked meatballs in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. Add them to a pot of boiling soup to creates another homemade meal in minutes!
Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please let me know your thoughts and tag me on my Fb page Pasta Journey or my Instagram a_pasta_journey . I would love to hear from you! Marina Totta