Sorry for the silence folks. While we have been busy experimenting and photographing some lovely recipes in the From Scratch Stat kitchen, between the seemingly endless research writing, essays for honor societies, and residency applications, I have been plain old written out. Much has happened since our last chat. I fell in love with Ob/Gyn, became a published author (all that research writing paid off!), and took my last exam of medical school. Meanwhile, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary, booked our flights to Sydney, Australia to ring in 2017, and became aunt and uncle to a beautiful baby girl! So much to be grateful for!
In medicine it is so easy to get caught up in what’s next–be it acing the next big board exam, publishing the next research project, or preparing oneself for residency +/- fellowship. It’s natural to want to move quickly when you feel like a perpetual college student, and it seems like those around you are effortlessly moving forward in their personal and professional lives. I urge you to stop, savor the moment, and to find time for things you love. Many of us live with the feeling that life starts once training is over, but that is far from the truth. Take more photos, get messy, and laugh often. It’s now or never!
Our favorite meatballs are finally here, and I am kicking myself for not writing about them sooner. I typically write the post in my head while I am cooking, but it’s been so long since these photos were taken (and used verbiage without the passive tense) that I had an unusually tough time getting started.
Although this particular photo sports our favorite simple red sauce, I am typically a plate separatist in true Italian form. Luckily these meatballs are too juicy for their sauce, freeze wonderfully, and will make your hands smell like an Italian grandmother. (Whether you like it or not). One of the big tricks to achieving that perfect texture is to be careful not to over mix. The harder you beat the mixture, the denser the finished product will be. For more detailed tips and tricks to achieving those restaurant-style tender meatballs check out this post. This is our no-fuss adaptation of one of our favorites, but the original version boasts of a pork-beef mixture, juicy pancetta, and chicken stock infused gelatin if you are so inclined.
- 4 ounces fresh white bread, cut into ½ -inch cubes (about 2 unpacked cups)
- 1/3 cup milk (or buttermilk), plus more as needed
- 1 medium yellow onion (½ cup), minced by hand or with food processor
- 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 4 teaspoons (18 grams)* kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 pounds ground beef (at least 25% fat) (or a 1:1 mixture of ground beef and ground pork if you are feeling fancy)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together bread and milk. Let stand, tossing occasionally, until bread is completely moist, about 10 minutes. Preheat broiler and set oven rack in upper position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Add onion, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, salt, pepper, pancetta, egg yolks, and oregano to bread mixture. Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, beat bread mixture until thoroughly blended. Add half of the beef mixture and mix on low until meat is fully incorporated.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer and add remaining beef. Using a clean hand, gently mix meatball mixture, teasing apart ground meat with your fingers, just until ground beef and/or pork are thoroughly distributed throughout; avoid mixing any more than is necessary for even distribution. At this point, scoop a small bite of meat onto a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 30 seconds or until fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Lightly roll meatball mixture into 20 meatballs and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Broil meatballs until browned on top, about 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them! Browning times vary dramatically based on type of broiler and size of meatball. Freeze here or continue to next step.
- Heat tomato sauce in a medium pot until simmering and add meatballs. Simmer until meatballs are just cooked through and register about 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.**
- * When measuring salt by volume, it is important to use the type of salt specified in the recipe. We list weight here because if measured by weight, the saltiness will be consistent regardless of the type of salt used.
- **Alternatively, you could flip meatballs and continue to bake until fully cooked, another 5-10 minutes.