Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fighting the Winter Doldrums

On a Christmas shopping trip to Atlanta we bought some pasture-raised ground beef, and decided to freeze it as a treat post-holiday excitement. After being back at work for a week, and freezing cold temperatures we were ready for a little pick-me-up. Out came the ground beef.

We decided to make meatballs, and do them right. So we started by making our own spaghetti. For lack of a better place, we hung it on our laundry rack to dry. We made our sauce from scratch with San Marzano canned tomatoes, bought just for the purpose. And for the meatballs we made our own bread for bread crumbs, and got to rolling (with the addition of onions, garlic, and some spices).

But before we got to rolling, while at the library, I noticed meatballs glossing the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. The article shared about five different recipes for meatballs, mostly ethnic recipes of meatballs re-thought. None were very appealing to me. There were however five tips, universal to all meatballs. One was to cool the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling. Another not to compact the meat too much while rolling, and still another to wet hands with cold water between each meatball.

I can't remember the other tips. But we did try those three. Maybe I took the compacting one too literally, because our meatballs fell apart a little bit in the browning stage. Those farther from the heat source seemed to fare better. I'm not sure how much those tips helped, it's not like we use a meat press for our meatballs.

Falling apart or not, they were tender, warm, and comforting. Perfect for a cold, January night at home.

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