Meet my new (to me) method for meatballs: oven roasting. I almost always sear my meatballs in a skillet before finishing them in marinara. However, our windowless kitchen and aging exhaust fan mean that after stove-top searing everything from the bedspread to the shower curtain smells like steak (or chicken or whatever you were cooking).
So, in an effort to avoid sleeping on a meatball-scented pillow, I tried oven-roasting the meatballs instead of pan-searing them. I oiled up a sheet tray, roasted the meatballs at 450° F for 5 to 8 minutes (just until they were nicely browned on the bottom and lifted easily off the try). I flipped the meatballs and roasted for another 5 to 8 minutes. They should be golden on 2 sides.
I then slid them into a skillet with some marinara for 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to meld. If I were really clever I would have started the meatballs right in the skillet so I only had one pan to clean, but I didn’t think of that until today. Next time.
Searing is still the way to go for some things—steaks, chops, etc.—but the oven-roasted meatball method may just be our new go-to. At least until we move to a place with a window in the kitchen.
Oh, if you’re interested here’s the recipe for the meatballs:
1 slice white sandwich bread
3 tablespoon whole milk
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
handful of chopped fresh herbs (I used flat-leaf parsley and basil)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound meatloaf mix (roughly 50 % ground beef, 25% ground veal, 25% ground pork)
Soak the bread in the milk until very soft. Mash with a fork to form a paste. Whisk in the egg and yolk, herbs, cheese, and a generous pinch salt and several grinds of black pepper. Form into 15 or 16 balls and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet or oven-proof skillet. Proceed as above.
What’s your favorite way to cook meatballs?