The one thing I love about working with food and researching food is learning new ways to improve on a recipe that I already love and make it even better. Don't get me wrong, the meatball recipe I've used over and over again is delicious. It's how I got my husband to eat spaghetti. When we first got married, he was anti-spaghetti night. Click here for my spaghetti and meatballs.
A few months back, I learned how to make these Spanish meatballs, called albondigas. They are so amazing. I loved them so much they made an appearance at our First Annual Dine & Craft Charity Event.
I decided to use the same method for making albondigas and apply it to the Italian version of the meatball. It worked out beautifully and we tore up some meatball subs! This recipe will feed 6 people.
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
1/2 cup of milk
1 pound of ground beef
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons of chopped basil
1 tablespoon of white wine or dry vermouth
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon of oregano
Salt and pepper
Your favorite pasta sauce, click here for ours!
12-15 slices of provolone cheese
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Cook for 1 minute and then slowly whisk in the milk. The mixture should thicken in about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, scrape it into a large bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.
To the large bowl, add the beef, pork, egg, basil, wine, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to overnight. Once chilled, form 2 to 3 ounce meatballs and dredge each meatball in flour.
In a cast iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat, pour in some 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Carefully add meatballs to the pan so they do not touch each other and overcrowd the pan. Rotate the meatballs to brown each side. Since you're working in batches, place the partially cooked meatballs on a plate covered with a paper towel.
PREPARATION TIP:I've used my stainless steel Dutch oven to make the meatballs once and they stuck to the pan something awful. The meatballs just fell apart and I ended up with more of a meat sauce. Cast iron is where it's at when you don't want your meat to stick. Alternatively, you can sear the meatballs in a nonstick pan, deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine or chicken stock to gather up all the crusty bits and add the delishness to your large pot of sauce.
Once the meatballs have all been seared, add your favorite sauce to the pot. Then introduce the meatballs to the sauce and bring the sauce to a simmer. When the meatballs reach 165 degrees, your meatballs are ready to eat!
Preheat your broiler to high and split the crusty rolls. Place each roll on a baking sheet and fill with the meatballs. Top with slices of provolone cheese and place the baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese is nice and melty.
My biggest and most honest critic, my son, he has never been so quiet during dinner. I consider that a WIN!