Monday, May 14, 2012

The World’s Fastest Meatballs – No Chop, No Roll, No Fry, No Kidding

One of my favorite things about the Internet is how you can make outrageous claims with complete impunity. For example, I’m claiming that this is the world’s fastest meatball recipe, and while I have plenty of evidence to support my claim, I really like knowing that I’ll never need to. In related news, I’m one of the world’s strongest men.

Anyway, these meatballs are significantly faster than a traditional recipe for three main reasons: First, there’s no chopping and sauteing to make the base mixture. Secondly, there’s no rolling involved. Small meatballs cook fast, and are always tender, but they’re a pain in the butt to roll. By using a small portion scoop, you can do an entire pan in a few minutes.

Lastly, broiling instead of frying is not only a quicker way to brown, but way less messy. Yes, you could just bake, but the broiler will take about half the time. By the way, as I mention in the video, if you have a few extra minutes, let the meatballs simmer on low to make the tomato sauce even more flavorful.

Just because I’m showing you a few shortcuts, doesn’t mean you can’t add some longcuts back in. You can certainly use a more standard recipe, like our ricotta meatballs, and still use the no-roll and broiler methods to cut prep time, without sacrificing quality.

At the very least, I hope you try this recipe so you’ll have to go out a buy a couple portion scoops. Above and beyond expeditious meatball production, these “dishers” come in handy for so many other kitchen tasks. I hope you give them, and these easy meatballs a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 48 little meatballs:
For the slurry:
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb mix
*Or use: 1/2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried thyme
For the rest:
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt (by the way, you can cook a small piece of the meatball mixture to test salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper, optional
1/3 cup freshly, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
6 cups simmering tomato sauce of your choice

View the complete recipe

44 comments:

SallyBR said...

Loved the video, I've been making meatballs baked in the oven for a long time, but never thought about cutting the prep time even further by broiling them

great idea!

(I usually simmer mine in the sauce, I like to make and bake the meatballs the day before I want to have them for dinner, and then cook them gently in tomato sauce before serving... works great!)

thanks for another nice video, Chef John!

Chibby said...

Slurry is a nasty sounding word to me.I don't know why.How often do you clean your oven,John? It always looks amazing.

Anonymous said...

I have watched may of your videos and all of a sudden I can no longer watch them? The last one I was able to watch was the thai popcorn. I was also able to watch link provided today for the ricotta meatballs but not the meatball video posted today?
Has something changed?
Thanks.
jeannie

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure! I've heard from 2 or 3 people that said the same thing, but I've made no changes, and if it were on my end, I'd have hundreds of people chiming in. What do you see? Do you see the YT player? Can you watch the video on YouTube. Are you in another country?

Anonymous said...

Hi John, Thanks for your quick reply.
I do see the youtube player and the picture of the spaghetti and meatballs but when I click play it goes black. I can go to youtube and watch the video no problem and yes I am in Canada,although I was watching the videos before. I think the change happened after the latest firefox update. Hopefully it will resolve itself soon.
Thanks,

jeannie

Anonymous said...

Hi again John,
I just tried a different browser( internet explorer) and I was able to watch the video so I assume it is a firefox problem.

Thanks,

jeannie

Axel14222 said...

I've had the same problem watching some, not all of the videos lately here in the USA. On my laptop,which gets internet through the local cable company WiFi, I tried to play this video to no avail via Mozilla Firefox. On another computer which gets internet through DSL, I could play it using Mozila Firefox. I could not play it on the laptop until I used Internet Explorer instead of Mozilla Firefox. All I got was a black screen, no sound, no picture.

Anonymous said...

I've been a baked-baller for a few years now. I've never done it under the broiler though. Here's a tip I use to get them out of that grease and make them tasty straight from the pan. I cook them on a wire rack over tin foil. The drippings drip, and the balls toast up all the way around.

I also roll them in bread crumbs before putting them in the oven. They collect some of that grease and bake on a deliciousness lost without the outer shell.

Like the other poster, I make mine the day, or days before, and simmer them in sauce to warm everything up. Yay meatballs! Now I want some meatballs... doh!

For everyone having trouble with Firefox, try Chrome. It's WAY faster!
-Pyrofish

Chef John said...

Thanks for the info. For what it's worth, I use Firefox and haven't seen a problem.

Barbara said...

This was a massive light bulb moment for me: the scoop! Of course! How could I not have ever thought to do that? Thank you, sir. This is my first time commenting, so you know the tip was a big deal :-)

ryz0n said...

A meatball recipe video with a DMX reference in it...


Chef John is a god among men.

Louise said...

Can this recipe be cut in half or more? My husband doesn't like meatballs but I do. I just want to make a few for me.

Cheers

Gretchen in NOLA said...

You're so right Barbara! A loud forehead slap to self - why didn't I think of that?? Add to that the broil method. Have baked before to avoid the mess, but broiling so much faster and efficient.
And thanks to the other poster for the idea of using the wire rack. I've learned so much today, my head hurts.

Chef John said...

Yes, you can halve this recipe, no problem!

Axel14222 said...

How does a slurry differ from a panade, if at all?

Chef John said...

Same thing!

Anonymous said...

the firefox users who are having problems ought to check to see that their Adobe Flash-player plugin is up to date and all plugins for FF are up-to-date. They may need to delete Flash-player software, extensions and reinstall to see if that makes a difference...lastly, they may need to check to see if they are running anti-virus software, and if such is not allowing the full completion of the stream of the video ...

btw CJ. do you have any suggestions for a meatless meatball recipe as I have a teenage daughter who is "now vegan" and will not eat anything coming from planet Earth...

Fluffydungeoncatz said...

Would I be able to use 1 pound ground turkey and 1 pound ground beef?

Sembazuru said...

Ok, the way my family has made meatballs (since at least my grandfather since he is where the recipe comes from) can't really be considered quick... We drop the meatballs into the sauce raw and essentially poach the meatballs over several hours in the sauce (part of making the sauce). Thus, I don't really care for meatballs that don't have a slightly saucy taste. Yes, occasionally a meatball is lost if someone stirs a bit to vigorously (or the chef wants a tasting before it's declared done).

Anonymous said...

You should make a video with laura vitale!

creepyp1 said...

made these tonight, delish as always even though I forgot the egg! Be even better next time.

Dave said...

Chef John, my broiler on my oven sucks so how long and what temp should I bake them at? Thx!

Dave said...

Chef John, the broiler on my oven sucks! What temp and how long should I bake them?

Chef John said...

450 until brown!

Anonymous said...

Hey, for the anonymous commenter who asked about meatless meatballs - I grew up eating Indian cabbage koftas - spicy and fried, in a tomato-based sauce. It tastes nothing like coleslaw, I promise. You can google it, but I like this website for Indian recipes in general: www.manjulaskitchen.com/2009/04/23/cabbage-kofta/

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

Could you let me know what version of "I've Never Been In Love Before" plays in your videos?

Thanks!

Alexis said...

Easy and so simple to make. It was my first time making meatballs in the oven and it came out Great!
thanks a million, will use it everytime now :-)

Anonymous said...

Hahaha I love you narrations! It made me laugh out loud. "they are not going to be as epic..." love the honesty at the end hahaha. maybe i'll try them this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic recipe, Chef John! Had a great lunch with guests over. Thank you! :D

Anonymous said...

These were so yummy I had trouble getting them to the tomato sauce (your tomato sauce recipe). I just kept eating them plain! I think I'm going to have to double the recipe next time! That said, my son doesn't like red sauces of any kind. He would like to know if these would be good in a fettuccine, or alfredo type sauce.

Chef John said...

yes! thanks!

Anonymous said...

You could add the measurements for us euros aswell.

Foodie Mom said...

I just made an eggless version of these and they were perfect! http://foodiemomscookbook.blogspot.com/2012/08/super-quick-eggless-meatballs.html

Sms said...

I made this yesterday! I didn't use breadcrumbs/milk and replaced veal with pork but they were amazing anyway! My baby chose to eat them and not throw sauce covered balls all over the kitchen so even better.

B R O said...

Hey chef, can I freeze the uncooked mixture if I want to use just a bit of it? Or would it go bad?

Chef John said...

you can freeze!

マスター said...

Mr Chef, you should try the good old roman meatballs recipe! It's really easy, my granny used to make them all the time~ Basically it's plain meatballs with raisins and pine nuts inside the ... Dough(?) You can fry them or put them in the oven BUT we usually cook them in a simple tomato sauce! It will kinda looks like ragù but IT'S HEAVEN! You have never tasted meatballs like that! If you want i can give you my granny recipe!

Chris Martel said...

I love everything you post! Everything is great and always delicious. Not to mention easy to make. You are the best chef I know of, you are down to earth and make everything so simple. I spent two years in culinary school and I'm still learning things from you!

Chef John said...

Thanks!

Weibaby said...

HiChef John: Just curious you mentioned we can use any combination of veal, beef and port, but I just wondered can I substitute one of them by ground turkey or other meat? As ground pork is really hard to find in my area

Chef John said...

yes!

Lauri L said...

Hi Chef John,
Thank you, your posts are amazing and fun to watch. Can any of the dairy ingredients be substituted we are very allergic to dairy?
Thank you,
Lauri

Chef John said...

You can always leave ingredients out, but since I have never tried that I have no idea how it would be. Thanks so much!

JtPandGED said...

Lauri,

I did not have milk once when making this recipe, and substituted a second egg into the slurry - worked great. I'd recommend trying that. You may want to try cooking a little sample as John advises, Parmesan has a very very sharp flavor and if you are cutting it you might want to adjust your spice mix to get the desired flavor.