This article was written by Erin Walsh.
In recent years, I have had something of a meatball awakening. For those of you who aren’t devotees of these flavorful little orbs of meat, I highly recommend a visit to Williamsburg’s The Meatball Shop.
This charming store, complete with outdoor seating that is perfect on a warm fall day and menus that allow you to indicate your choices with marker, is the ideal destination for a starter course in meatballs.
The shop serves every kind of meatball, from classic beef and spicy pork to vegetarian and chicken, which can be paired with sauces, including parmesan cream, spicy meat, pesto and mushroom.
Diners can order the balls served in a dish with focaccia, smashed on a roll or, as my fellow culinary forager and I did, on mini sliders. We sampled the chicken paired with pesto sauce, the beef with parmesan cream sauce and the spicy pork with mushroom. Sublime.
Back at home, I decided to make my own meatballs, using a recipe I found online for the aptly named Meatball Nirvana. To give my balls extra flavor, I baked them and then let them simmer in sauce in a slow cooker for hours. Serve with spaghetti and you have a simply delicious weeknight meal.
Meatball Nirvana (Source: Allrecipes.com)
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 dash hot pepper sauce to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup skim milk (Note: I used one egg)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Place the beef into a mixing bowl and season with salt, onion, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Add the milk, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix until evenly blended, then form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place onto a baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.