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Grandma Bonnie’s meatballs

I am hoping some day I will catalog this blog, and the girls will be able to see what we were up to and even benefit from seeing the recipes we cooked back then. This recipe is not from my grandma but rather from my mother-in-law. It is Vivi’s absolute favorite home-cooked food. I love it too because it’s easy enough to make, and I have the recipe memorized because there are so few ingredients. We leave out the red pepper flakes when making it for Vivi, and we double the standard amount when making it for ourselves. Enjoy!

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makes 20-25

2 lb ground beef chuck (we sometimes substitute half bison or turkey)
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Romano and/or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, ground
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 450 degF. Stir together all ingredients except the ground beef. Using a fork or your hands, combine the beef with the mixture and mix thoroughly. Using a scoop, spoons, or your hands, shape the meatballs 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Place 1 inch apart on a greased sheet pan. I can typically get about 30 1 in. meatballs, and I put 15 on each of 2 sheet pans. Cover the bottom of each pan with beef broth to keep meatballs moist while cooking and prevent scorching the pan. Bake 25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Reserve pan juices if you are making your own tomato sauce.

To freeze extra meatballs, place them on a clean sheet pan in a single layer so they aren’t touching. Put the pan in the freezer until the meatballs are just frozen. Place in a vacuum lock freezer bag. For Vivi, I pull out two at a time and defrost/heat them in the microwave.

Update (6-25-12): At 21 months, Charlie now also adores this recipe and gobbles up three meatballs before touching the rest of her meal. It cannot be overstated that this is a great recipe to freeze ahead and make a few at a time.

Editors’ note: This post is part of Monday Mania

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