Traditional beef meatballs start with great quality meat, real Italian bread, fresh Italian seasonings and Parmesan cheese. An Italian grandmothers recipe, these old fashioned meatballs are as authentic as it gets, with soft tender centers and golden brown outsides. Fried over baked, these meatballs contain major flavor and bring something special to spaghetti, subs or any Italian dinner being served. The best part about 5 star meatballs is that they are red sauce marinara sauce optional - they are just that good! Serve along side a simple salad and some crusty bread.
Tear up 4 slices of Italian Bread (day old is best) to 1/2 cup of milk and push bread into milk. Set the bowl aside.
Add ground beef, 2 cracked eggs, fresh parsley, minced garlic, dried bread crumbs, dried panko crumbs, and fresh basil leaves into a bowl.
Season meatball mixture with salt and pepper.
Mix all ingredients together well, your hands work best for this.
Squeeze milk and all moisture from bread and add to the beef mixture. Mix ingredients well.
Heat a pan of hot oil, about 1/2" deep until medium-hot and oil is hot and sizzling.
Using a 2 tablespoon portion scoop, scoop beef into balls and place into hot oil.
Fry each meatball, flipping sides frequently until browned on all sides. It should take about 8-12 minutes to fully cook through meatballs, depending on size of ball and temperature of oil.
Using tongs, remove from pan and set to drain on paper towels.
If wanted, add meatballs to sauce and heat over medium heat until hot.
How to correctly portion:
Use a 2 tablespoon portion scoop so you get about a 2″ meatball, not super small, not gigantic. Keeping meatballs all the same size makes sure one doesn’t overcook and one undercook.How do you get meatballs to stick together?Meatballs are held together by a binder and in this case, that is by eggs, bread crumbs and Italian bread. This keeps the meat from falling apart in the skillet. In these authentic meatballs, the Italian bread gets soaked in milk and that can lead to moisture. Be sure to wring out as much moisture as possible to make sure the final shape doesn’t fall apart.What are traditional Italian meatballs made of?Traditional meatballs are either made from beef or a combination of veal/beef and sausage.What makes a great meatball?A great meatball can not only be smothered in sauce but eaten exactly as is- crispy edges and a soft tender center. The secret to the BEST meatballs are frying over baking and using day old bread soaked in milk.Can other meats than beef be used?Absolutely! Some of the best meatballs I have EVER had came out of Venice, Italy and included pork. It’s fine to use ground beef, ground sirloin, or a combination of pork + beef or beef + sausage.