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BackstoryAlton Brown did a show about meatballs. (In fact I think it was called "Great Balls of Meat") And while I was disappointed to find out that his Swedish meatball recipe is pretty much how I was taught to do it. >sigh< Alas, no handy gadget recomendations or secret formulas for success, just banter with 'W' under a shiney disco ball. Regardless of the Swedish Meatball let down, his idea of baking regular meatballs in a mini muffin tin DID intreagued me. I tried his recipe, but I am really not a fan of beef. If you use beef I suggest Ground Round or Sirloin, as they have better flavor, but make sure the fat content is between 10 - 15%.
I tend to lean a little harder on the herbs and spices as well. Here is my rendition of his original recipe (Available on FoodNetwork Website)
- This makes about 45 - 48 meatballs depending on the accuracy of your scale
- 1 lb Ground Goat (Cheven)
- 1 lb Ground Lamb
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flake
- 1 TB Dried Parsley
- 1 TB Dried Basil
- 2 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder (Sauted onion increases the moisture content)
- 2 tsp Marjoram
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds (Crushed really well)
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 10 grinds of Black Pepper
- 2 Large Eggs
- 10 oz Chopped Spinach (Excess Water Squeezed out)
- 1 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano; Parmagiano-Reggiano Stravecchio is good too
- 1/2 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs; ground a little finer.
- In a large Bowl; Toss all 3 meats, herbs, spices, spinach, eggs, cheese and the 1/2 cup of plain old bread crumbs.
- Mix with fingertips, do not squash everything together with your hands like your strangeling the life from your mixture. Be gentle. Don't heat up the fats in the meat.
- Cover With plastic Wrap and refrigerate for 24 hour to allow the flavors to meld together and chill the mixture all the way through.
- Get out your kitchen scale and a mini muffin tin or two, depending on the size. I am in need of an upgrade as mine only make 1 dozen each, so I use 2 tins and make 2 batches.
- Turn oven to 400 degrees
- Scope out the mixture into 1 1/2 ounce mounds.
- Chill again for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the Ice Box and roll each mound into a ball.
- Roll each ball in slightly ground Panko breadcrumbs.
- Place each ball in the cup of a mini muffin tin, they should be large enough to remain suspended above the bottom of the cup. This allows the excess fat to drain down below.
- Place in oven for 15-20 minutes(Electic) 25-30 minutes (Gas) or until, as Alton is so fond of saying, they are G B & D (Golden Brown & Delicious)
- Serve as an appetizer, or grab a Hoagie/Grinder/Sub/Hero/Poor Boy roll (SourDough if you can find it), some homemade tomato sauce (See Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce Base recipe), and some dry Mozzarella or Provolone and have a GREAT Meatball Sandwich!