Something magic happens when you combine mince with a few simple spices and ingredients, roll them into balls and cook them in a sauce, Italian-style. Ahh, meatballs. But though making meatballs is easy, there are still a few questions commonly asked by home cooks. Why are my meatballs dry? How do I keep meatballs from falling apart? Follow our expert guide to Italian meatballs to create juicy, tasty meatballs that don’t fall apart when cooking. Plus try this one meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas. Buon appetito!
What mince is best for making meatballs?
You’ve got to start with good ingredients, and with meatballs, it’s all about the mince. Italian meatballs are generally made using a combination of pork and veal mince. This combination of mince meats gives meatballs a great authentic Italian flavour and also help to keep the meatballs juicy.
You can get pork and veal mince from the supermarket. It is sometimes labelled as pork and beef mince. If you can’t find it combined, you can simple buy the mince meats separately from a good butcher.
Here are some tips on storing mince:
- Mince can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Raw mince should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, usually in the bottom corner.
- If you’re planning on freezing the mince. Remove it from the store packaging once you are home and place it in a freezer bag or zip-lock bag with all the air squeezed out. Try to flatten the mince so it’s a thinner layer. This helps it to freeze faster and then defrost faster. Keep mince in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost mince in the fridge overnight.
What do my meatballs fall apart?
There are a few tricks and tips that can help you bind your meatballs so that they cook intact.
• Egg: A lot of meatball ingredients add egg to the mince mixture so that the white helps to bind the balls together.
• Breadcrumbs: If the mince mixture is quite wet, breadcrumbs are often used to help soak up excess moisture so that the balls don’t fall apart.
• Cheese: Adding cheese helps to bind the meatballs while cooking. Ricotta is good, especially with chicken mince as it also helps keep the meatballs moist during cooking so they don’t dry out too much.
• Chill: Once you have rolled your meatballs, pop them in the fridge for a cheeky half our if you can spare the time. This gives the egg and other ingredients time to bind properly resulting in a more robust meatball while cooking.
One meatballs recipe, 3 dinner ideas
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