Ok I’ll fess up from the very beginning. Know why these are the BEST meatballs in town?! Because they are a PW recipe. Come on now. I’ve tweaked it a bit and use a different cooking method but we know all good things begin with Ree now don’t we?
The combination of beef and pork along with fresh-made breadcrumbs (they’re not quite the same when I just shake some out of a can) and a teeny ingredient switch make these a huge hit. In fact, next to my Best Baked Spaghetti, this is one of Buddy’s favorite meals. Gee…do you think my kid likes pasta?
Oven-Baked Meatballs (adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
6-8 slices thick crusty bread
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 cup fresh shredded peccorino romano cheese (This is a goat’s milk cheese that is very similar to parmesan but has a little extra oomph.)
1/3 cup milk (or rice milk if you’re going dairy free)
1-2 Tbls dried parsley (I never seem to have the fresh stuff on hand this time of year.)
1 tsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
pepper to taste
(Ree also adds 2 eggs…I omit these for allergy reasons and honestly, don’t miss them a bit!)
Start by drying your bread slices in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Once they are nice and dry you can pop them in the food processor and give it a whirl.
I like to tear mine up so they fit a little better. You don’t have to get a super fine crumb but you don’t want a lot of giant chunks either.
Then throw all of your ingredients in a big bowl and use your (clean) hands to combine. I use my food processor to shred up my peccorino romano lickity split. Life’s too short to grate by hand.
Then roll into balls. Depending on how big I’m making my meatballs that day I can get anywhere from about 3-4 dozen.
At this point Ree tells us to heat olive oil in a pot and fry em up in small batches until all are browned, but not cooked through.
I’ve done this many times but after spending 30-60 minutes standing in front of the stove flipping meatballs time after time I said to myself…ain’t nobody got time for this.
So now I bake them at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Then I toss them in a pot of sauce (2 jars of my favorite…which means whatever brand is on sale) and let them simmer while I cook up the pasta.
Bada-bing bada-boom…you have some of THE BEST meatballs in the world. Seriously.
Thank you Ree. Thank you.