One of my most fond food memories is my Grandma Beaulieu’s meatballs. All the kids love them, but my love bordered on worship. She lived in Massachusetts, I in Maryland, and because that meant an 8 hour drive with 4 kids stuffed in the back seat, I didn’t get my favorite meatballs all that often. And that probably made them even more special. In this recipe video, I show you how to make my version of my grandma’s meatballs (her recipe was lost, so I'm sure I'm cheating here and there). Now, my Grandmother, being German, not Italian, we’re not talking about the spaghetti and tomato sauce type of meatball…these are more like Swedish meatballs, in a creamy mushroom sauce, and they are killer. I like them with a some mashed potato and green beans…for me that is the ultimate comfort food. Hope you enjoy them!
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best Meatballs, make sure you do these few things:
- Use a combination of beef and pork. The two meats have different texture and flavors, and the combo is much better than each individually
- Make sure you cook off a tester meatball, before rolling out the full batch. Taste that tester for seasoning and texture, and then you can adjust your whole mix, before making all the meatballs.
- When adjusting the meatballs, add more salt/pepper/soup mix for flavor, and egg/bread crumbs for a softer texture
- Finally, I like to heat the mushroom soup before pouring over the meatballs, and then cooking them at high temp (~400 degrees or so) so the soup reduces, and the you get some crunchy edges.
RECIPE FOR GRANDMA’S MEATBALLS
Ingredients (for 5 - 6 servings)
- 1 lbs ground beef (80% lean)
- 1 lbs ground pork
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1.5 packages of dry onion soup mix
- 3 cans of Campbells cream of mushroom soup
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cups of plain bread crumbs
Making the Meatballs
- Take the meat out of the fridge, to take the chill off – it’ll be a bit easier to mix without freezing your hands
- In a sauté pan, cook the diced onion and garlic in a few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper, until the onions are translucent – but not browned
- Move the onions to a bowl to cool off
- Put the pork and beef into a large mixing bowl, and once cooled off a bit, add the onions
- Also add the eggs, onion soup mix, the bread crumbs, and season with a good amount of salt and pepper
- Mix everything together (I like to just using my hands) until it’s uniformly mixed
- Take a tablespoon of meatball mix, and cook it off in a frying pan, and taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- If the tester was perfect, proceed. If it needed more flavor add some more salt, pepper, or soup mix; if it’s tough add some more bread crumbs
- Open up the mushroom soup and heat them all up in a sauce pan until simmering. It’s ok just add about a half can of water; but don’t add any more
- While the soup heats, make the meatballs, and place them in a baking dish, that you lightly grease with a bit of olive oil. I like each meatball to be 2 – 3 bites in size
- Once heated, spoon the mushroom soup over the meatballs, and move them into the oven
- The meatballs should take about 40 minutes to cook through; you’re looking to get the tops just golden brown
- You can always pull a meat ball out and cut it open if you’re not sure if they are cooked through
- Once out of the oven, I let them cool for about 5 minutes, and then you’re good to go
Like I said, these meatballs, with a bit of mashed potato to soak up the extra gravy, put me in heaven. Hope you enjoy them!!
Wine Recommendation: I gotta admit, that I’d probably go with a beer with these meatballs, but I think a Pinot Noir would also make an excellent match. Something light and fruity – from Oregon or Washington.