I have been making a version of Rachel Ray’s Meatball Subs since my then boyfriend, now husband, and I were living together our senior year of college (We Are!) According to him, I made lots of chicken and what we now call “college taters,” which are little pieces of red potato I cooked in the oven. But, I know I made some other dinners, meatballs being one of them.
Of course, back then I wasn’t using grassfed beef, organic eggs and I wasn’t making my own breadcrumbs. And over the years I have stopped serving with pasta sauce and rolls. Now that we are a family of four, I’ve realized a package (pound) of beef isn’t really enough to feed us. Next time I will add either more beef, or maybe some pork.
I no longer look at the original recipe because I have been making these for so long. If winging it makes you nervous, you can get the exact measurements from her recipe. My general ingredients are:
- pound of beef, grassfed best (but next time I will add more). Make sure you understand “grassfed” and research the company whose product you are using.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and dried herbs, fresh if in the summer (basil, parsley, chives, Italian blend, etc)
- Minced garlic
- Diced onion (maybe a 1/4 of one)
- Enough breadcrumbs to bring everything together so you can shape into little balls
And, by the way, making your own breadcrumbs is the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen. I buy bread on sale from the bakery, pulse in the food processor and either toast in the oven until dry, or put in a pan, place on the counter and forget about it for a day or two. That’s my preferred method. The crumbs will stay good in the freezer…for a long, long time. Use whenever you need them!
While I’m shaping into little balls, I stick a small cube of cheese (monterrey jack, pepper jack, or mozzarella) inside. I guess the original recipe doesn’t have that part, so I’m not sure where I got the idea. Yum. I mixed everything and shaped the balls and stuck in the fridge.
Usually I bake the meatballs at 350 for about 15 minutes, but today after work I decided to sear them in my cast iron skillet until the sides were brown, then heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes. When I checked on them in the oven I panicked because the cheese was running out of most of the meatballs. I took them out, but at dinner time I noticed a few of them were pink and I had to cook them on the skillet for a few more minutes. That was a bummer. Maybe next time I will try completely cooking in the skillet, but not sure how I will accomplish this without cooking in some kind of sauce, which is not what I want. You would think after 10 years I would have the perfect recipe…
As a side I cooked a flat bread pizza crust I had in the fridge with garlic oil, dried herbs, tomatoes and parm cheese and served it with leftover chimichurri sauce. Blending Italian with Nicaraguan – we are a global household. I cooked the flat bread after I was home with the kids and reheated the meatballs on the stove, so dinner came together quickly.