I start the meatballs on the stovetop - I make sure to sautee them on all four sides - to give them a char and next I finish them in the oven
I wanted to come up with a meatball recipe that didn't have red meat but still are a bit sinful. Just as adding a smidge of butter to olive oil to impart flavor and save on some of the fat, I decided to add ground pork into the mix of ground chicken and ground turkey. I thought they came out pretty well.
Ground turkey, pork, chicken and Italian flat leaf parsley for the meatballs - garlic and onion for the marinara
It's important that you don't overmix the meat when you are making meatballs. I carefully mixed the three meats into one large ball.
Next, I added one egg and 2 tablespoons skim milk
Next the unsung hero of the kitchen - parsley. I used kitchen scissors to get a fine chop and added it to the meat.
The meatballs once they came out of the freezer
I used 1/2 pound of ground chicken and 1/4 pound each of ground turkey and ground pork. Next time I'm going to use 1/2 pound of each - and I'm putting that in the recipe below. The mixture came out too soupy. Once I managed to get the mixture into meatballs, I put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. They became solid and it was possible to brown them in the skillet on all sides and finish them off in the oven. It was a making lemonade out of lemons moment: the meatballs were really juicy.
Brown the meatballs in your sautee pan on all four sides - I like my meatballs on the fatter side - the size of golf balls. Notice the caramelized bits on the pan - perfect base for your marinara.
All's well that ends well
Here's the catch 22: the marinara is best the next day and the meatballs are better the day you cook them. So if you're making my marinara sauce with the roasted tomatoes, set enough marinara aside for tonight's meal. Add a bit of crushed tomatoes or your favorite bottled marinara to cut the intense roasted tomato taste.
1/2 lb ground chicken
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
1 tspn butter
1/8 cup chopped parsley
2 tbspns skim milk
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine turkey, chicken and pork - gently - don't over mix or pat down
Add the egg
Add the skim milk
Add the salt and pepper
Add the parsley
Using your (clean) hands, gently mix
Carefully form into meatballs - the size of golf balls - you'll get 6 - 8 meatballs
Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat
Add the olive oil - swirl around pan till heated
Add the butter
When heated, sautee meatballs; cook on all four sides, until brown; use tongs to turn
The meatballs will be raw inside - transfer to casserole dish and bake in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for 20 minutes
Let meatballs rest on the counter; re-heat them in the marinara when ready to serve