February 7, 2013
Meatballs just seem to make everyone happy, from your kids to your neighbors to your grandma (if you make her recipe!). Grilling24x7.com takes some liberties with grandma’s recipe on the grill with delicious results.
I’ve been using the same meatball recipe for quite some time now so I decided to test out this recipe on the charcoal grill. I was thrilled to learn that it works great and was really easy to pull off. They work great for a meatball sub or for spaghetti!
Ingredients: (makes about 18 meatballs)
1 lb ground beef (ground chuck)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (non flavored)
1/2 cup of milk
3/4 cup of grated Romano cheese
Onion (about 1/2 cup)
Peeled garlic cloves (about 1/4 cup or 6-8 cloves)
1/4 cup of parsley leaves (packed in measuring cup)
1/4 cup basil (packed in measuring cup)
I find this recipe the easiest when I use my food processor. Rough chop the onion (about 1/2 cup), take the skin off of about 1/4 cup of garlic (about 6-8 cloves, or 2 oz if you want to measure) and toss it into a food processor and pulse. Next remove the leaves from the parsley and basil and toss them into a food processor and pulse. If you don’t have a food processor just finely chop it with a knife.
After everything is finely chopped toss it into a big bowl with the rest of the ingredients. The key with any meatball recipe is to very carefully and lightly mix everything together. It’s almost like a light toss rather than a rough mix. Don’t pack everything together really hard or you’ll have dense meatballs. You want them to be light and fluffy. If the mix seems too wet add some more bread crumbs.
Once everything is mixed together lightly form meatballs in your hand. The size is really up to you but remember that bigger meatballs take longer to cook.
Once the meatballs are made they can be stored in the fridge for as long as you like (within reason) until it’s time to prepare the grill. Think of these as hamburgers when you are grilling them. You want to cook them throughout but you don’t want to burn the outsides. I prefer a medium heat spread out all over about 3/4 of the grill. This works out to be about 3/4 of a charcoal chimney lit and dumped out evenly around the grill. Don’t have a high temperature or you’ll have meatballs with a rare inside and crisp outside. Not good! Since the meatballs are fragile I take some oil, wet a paper towel, and rub the grates to clean them and to help things not stick. I’ve had zero problems with meatballs sticking to the grates but this is an extra safety measure. When the fire is ready grill the meatballs for about 10-15 min per side. Don’t be afraid to check after 8 min. You don’t want a burnt meatball. Flip the meatball over when one side of the meatball looks like the photo below. You can use tongs or a spatula, whichever you feel more comfortable with.
After the meatballs are grilled move them to indirect heat and get out a cast iron skillet. Fill the skillet with your favorite pasta or pizza sauce. You can obviously make your own sauce like I do but that recipe will come out another day. Put the skillet over direct heat and add the meatballs. Toss them around a bit to let the flavors of the meatballs extend out into the sauce.
I chose to make meatballs subs with my grilled meatballs. Fantastic! Notice the Philly Amoroso roll with melted provolone cheese. I also added some baked curly fries as a side dish. Oh man!