Tag Archives: Meatballs

French Onion Soup Meatballs

8 Oct

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To carry on with delicious comfort fall foods, I have a main dish recipe that will blow the socks off your feet. Yes! Your socks will land in the other room and you won’t even care because you will be in the midst of devouring the most tender and savory meatballs.

Ok, so that may be a BIT of an exaggeration …a little bit…

But I can’t tell you enough how good these are so you must just trust me and make them yourself! Pleaseeee! And tell me how they turn out for you because I just know it’ll be a hit. A walk-off triple. Three and out for a rockstar defense. (Sorry, my husband’s coaching terms are rubbing off.)

Before we dive into meatball heaven here, I must disclose that I have a soft spot for meatballs. I don’t know what it is, but I think they’re one of my favorite comfort foods. I have favorite go-to recipes for tangy turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce  (one I’ve been meaning to share with you guys), another for BBQ meatballs that are great when you are sick and just want yummy, simple food and the ones I’ve shared with you here already – Spicy Turkey Meatballs, Barefoot Contessa style. Now I think I’ve stumbled into a fourth to keep in my arsenal of meatball go-to’s.

Now if you’re at all on the fence about meatballs (which, I’m sorry but I don’t QUITE relate), perhaps convincing you that these are like sinking your teeth into a delicious meat version of french onion soup, with the same drippy cheese and delicious cooked down onions. Except this…

…that cheese and onion that makes french onion soup SO good?!?

It’s INSIDE the meatballs!

Mind. Blown.

Right?!

So stay with me here, if you like anything I said above then all I can say is, you will love these babies. This recipe is adapted from the amazing recipe posted over at Cupcakes and Kale Chips. I cannot say how thankful I am for Brianne’s creation. My version is adjusted for ingredients we had in our kitchen and I note a few spots below that you could also experiment and make these your own.

Ingredients:

Onions / Filling (makes enough to stuff 15 or so meatballs, plus a bit extra):

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic infused olive oil (adds a little extra flavor, but normal olive oil works too)
  • 2 white onions, halved and sliced
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup beef stock or broth (whichever you have on hand)
  • ¼ cup red wine (I used Shiraz as I’m obsessed and it’s always in our kitchen)
Meatballs (makes 15 or so meatballs):
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef (you could use ground turkey if looking for a healthier option)
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 Tsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped plus extra to sprinkle on top, at the end
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella (divide 3-4 oz into half-inch cubes for your meatballs – about 15 small mozz cubes – and slice up the remainder to place on top of the meatballs)
  • ½ Tbsp garlic infused olive oil (again, to add some extra flavor but normal olive oil will work too)
Meatball Sauce: 
  • 1 ¾ cup beef stock or broth (again, whichever you have on hand)
  • ¼ cup red wine (Shiraz for me again!)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • S&P (to taste)

How to Make:

First thing that you’re going to get cooking is the onions. Halve and slice up the onions.
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After heating up the olive oil in a saucepan, add in the sliced onions, S&P and let it cook down and become fragrant for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to give this a stir with a spatula regularly to keep everything cooking.
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While your onions are cooking, start in on the meatballs. Mix ALL of the ingredients listed for the meatballs, except the mozzarella, together in a medium-sized bowl. Mix everything together using your hands or a spatula. Then, divide the meat mixture into 15 separate balls.
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Back to the onions, once they’re carmelized and looking GOOD, add in your thyme, letting it cook in with the onions for a few minutes.
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Then add in the wine and beef stock / broth. This is when it hits you…these onions are going to be out of this world. And why have you never thought to cook onions this way? What is it about red wine and beef stock / broth that makes onions smell and taste so darn good?! I do not know the answer to that, but I admit that I snuck quite a few onions from the pan while everything reduced down.
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Sigh, good stuff. Let the onions cook down until there’s not much liquid left in the pan. Then remove from heat and let it cool a bit.
While those onions are making your mouth water, it’s time to prep your mozzarella. Divide about 3-4 oz of the mozzarella block into 15 small cubes. Put these on to a plate or in a bowl. Next to your mozzarella pieces, place your meatballs. Once your onions are cooked down and cooled, add them to your assembly line. Add an empty plate to the end, where you can place your finished meatballs.
Now for the fun part! We are stuffing these meatballs, guys. And it’s an imperfect process and that is a-ok.
No stressing, ok?!
To stuff each meatball, take one of the meatballs and flatten it in the palm of your hand.
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 Grab a small handful of onions and place those in the middle of the patty.
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 Place one of the small mozzarella cubes on top and then gently pat the meat mixture around the stuffing to make it back into a ball shape.
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This doesn’t turn out perfect looking meatballs, onions might be visible and mozzarella might be visible and it’s ok! Guess what?! It makes everything melty and wonderful and it will taste the same darn way no matter what they look like. So have fun, and stuff all of your 15 meatballs!
Now for this next step, I used my cast iron skillet as it’s stove top and oven friendly. If you have one, I’d recommend you use it for this next step as it’s super simple. If you don’t have a pan that is both stove top and oven friendly, not to worry. You can start with a skillet and then transfer to a oven dish after. As you decide on your skillet / oven dish of choice, preheat the oven to 350.
Heat up a the olive oil in the skillet and place all 15 of the meatballs in, one by one. Brown them on all sides, flipping them to ensure they’re browned all over. And again, don’t worry if they break a part a little bit.
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Once the browning process is complete (and you’ve wiped that drool off your chin, because yes, these look and smell SO good at this point), mix up your sauce, whisking everything together. If you’re using the same pan from stove top to oven, then pour the sauce on top and carefully place in the oven. If you’re switching dishes, move your meatballs from the skillet to an oven dish and then pour the sauce on top before putting in the oven. Bake these delectable dudes for 15-20 minutes.
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While those are baking, slice up the remainder of your mozzarella cheese and chop up some extra parsley for the top of the meatballs.
After the 15-20 minutes go by, pull ’em out and place the mozzarella on top. Pop ’em back in and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Bake until the cheese starts bubbling and starts to turn golden.
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Pull the meatballs out, garnish with the remaining fresh parsley and serve it up to hungry people. These will disappear faster than you can even fathom. They are drippy, cheesy, flavorful meatballs. They will rock your world and warm your insides. They would be perfect alongside some fresh veggies and some bread or grain that will soak up the juices on your plate. Nothing should be wasted here, friends!
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I hope you guys give this a go. It’s a new favorite in our home and will be for decades (we’ve made it twice in the last two months)!!
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Spicy Turkey Meatballs

1 Aug

Hola friends. I realize I’ve been a very poor blogger this last month. Boo. Hiss. I know.

But the good news is I have a bunch of wonderful posts to share with you over the next few weeks to make up for the slllooowww posting in July.

Do you forgive me?

I hope so.

To make it up to you, I’m sharing a delectable meatball recipe from one of my favs from the Food Network – the Barefoot Contessa. The woman knows her stuff and you just KNOW her recipes will result in a happy stomach.

Backstory to why I decided to make these babies…a few weekends ago, a bunch of my girlfriends and I were celebrating a very good friend of mine – Andrea – at her bachelorette party. We did a fun-filled cabin weekend with the meals divyed up amongst the group. I volunteered to take on Saturday evening (which meant I was going to do as much prep as possible BEFORE Saturday…c’mon…it was a bachelorette party…prep was needed). The decision was to make it simple and tasty – spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread. I figured with the spaghetti, garlic bread and salad all needing very little prep (I cheated and bought a few pre-mixed bags from the store. I know what you’re thinking. Lazy. Yes I know. But SMART considering) the meatballs could be the star feature.

I searched through my cookbooks, blogs, magazine clippings. I couldn’t find the right meatball. I was getting frustrated. It was also about 8:00 PM the night before I was to depart for bachelorette party madness and I was recipe less. And grocery item less.

Until Ina.

Thank you Ina.

These are in her “How Easy Is That” cookbook and they’re keepers in my book. I modified her recipe a little bit on purpose and a little bit by accident:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes crust removed (I kept the crust on because I felt like it. You can go crustless if you’re into that.)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk (Ina suggest whole milk but I just couldn’t do it and have the rest of the container leftover. I’m not into whole milk. Ish. I went 2%.)
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (85-percent to 92-percent lean <— Ina’s suggestion)
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian pork sausage (Ina recommends the sweet variety but I couldn’t find it, used normal stuff and it was still delicious.)
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated aged Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley (I forgot to get this…oopie…so used dried parsley. It worked.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the meatballs
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

How to Make:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees first. Prep your sheet pans (with either Pam or parchment paper) second. Or reverse that. I won’t tell.

In the mixing process, your first task is to assist your bread into becoming crumbs.

Enter in the FOOD PROCESSOR. The crumb making machine.

 

Wow.

Now take those lovely crumbs and put them and your milk into a small bowl. You’re going to let those two ingredients sit and become one for about 5 minutes. Sounds weird, but trust in Ina. She’s a smart cookie.

Now, in a different bowl that’s more in the ‘big’ category, time to mix up everything.

First, in goes the pork sausage…

Then the ground turkey…

…prosciutto (probably my favorite ingredient in these balls of meat)…

then the bread/milk concoction (after it set for its 5 minutes of course)…

 …Asiago cheese…

…parsley (fresh if you’re with it when you’re grocery shopping, unlike me)…

…oregano…

…red pepper flakes (the wonderful KICK part of the recipe)…

AND finally…1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.

Admire your lovely mountain of ingredients. Post admiration, mix everything up. I prefer to use my hands for these type of steps (vs. a fork or spatula) because I personally think it gets mixed more thoroughly. You really want the spices to be as evenly mixed as possible too – you’d hate to get one SUPER spicy meatball and one that’s bland. Not cool.

Once you feel like the whole mixture is lightly but thoroughly mixed together, add in the olive oil and the eggs. NOW you can use a fork or spatula to mix those wet ingredients in. Be gentle, but make sure it’s fully mixed. No skimping.

Now, time to make some balls. Ina recommends about 2-inch meatballs. She also suggests you brush the meatballs with olive oil prior to popping them into the oven. I forgot that step. Whoops. BUT you can still have tasty meatballs without it. Trust me!!

Bake these guys for 35 to 40 minutes or, as Ina puts it, “until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.”

Then serve these to a bunch of hungry, sunburned people. At least, that’s what I did.

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