I occasionally hanker a meatball, but not too often. When I do, I
take the easy route to make a traditional half and half (pork/beef)
This is my version.
I take a pound of lean ground meat, and mix it with a pound of good
quality Italian pork sausage. There is plenty of fat in that sausage,
so don't worry about the lean beef losing flavor.
To that, I add
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons dried onion
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon fennel seed (I mince it up)
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Mix with hands until all ingredients are combined. I make loose
packed meatballs (hard packed = dense balls) about the size of a .50
piece, and cook them separately.
I put them in the marinara about 20 minutes before serving, or just
top them with sauce at the table when they are still warm.
Easy, fast, wonderful.
What's that? Tex Mex, say you?
Mix one pound of lean beef with Mexican style chorizo. The mexican
style is different from Spanish or the Italian variant. It is a very
fatty, mushy, and is sold it a clear casing. It orange in color due
to its high spice content. It is meant to be fried as it is about 50%
fat, so I drain the hell out of it. And like I said, it's full of
it's own spices.
When I tried it out, I used the same basic recipe above, but added in
2 chopped jalepenos, a teaspoon of cayenne, and three teaspoons of
cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules. I served them floating in
this red chile sauce
over 1/2" noodles. It was a real hit.