Beef, Pork & Prosciutto Italian Meatballs
Don't stop reading - these meatballs are different! They contain three types of meat, which makes them light, airy and full of flavor. And they have a crisp outside sear and a moist center.
I have found that the fattier the ground meat you use, the more tender the meatballs and so I generally use ground chuck with a 80 percent lean, 20 percent fat mix. It is not overly fatty, but still has great flavor. My recipe incorporates prosciutto, which gives the meatballs extra meatiness and adds texture. Using soaked breadcrumbs also helps to keep the meat tender and moist while it is cooking and aids in binding the meatballs together. Another tip in creating perfect meatballs is to make sure that you don't overwork the meat when you are using your hands to combine the ingredients.
One of my favorite places to go for delicious meatballs is The Meatball Shop in New York City. There are several locations but I typically go to the one in Chelsea. I love the novelty of a place that focuses on meatballs but you also get a delicious meal for a great price. You are handed a menu where you check off the boxes of what you want; the type of base (I usually go with pasta or risotto), the type of meat (the spicy pork is a little different then you typically get but they also have specials such as reindeer), and the type of sauce (as a huge fan of sauces I love their alfredo and classic tomato sauce).
1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
2/3 cup whole milk
4 ounces chopped prosciutto, about ½ cup
1 pound ground beef (80% lean/ 20% fat)
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a small mixing bowl combine milk and breadcrumbs and let it sit for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl combine the prosciutto, beef, pork, eggs, Parmesan, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the soaked breadcrumbs to the mixture and use your hands to blend. Divide the mixture into ¼ cup portions and roll into balls. Place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet until all the mixture is used.
In a large skillet over medium heat add two tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Working in two batches, add half of the meatballs to the skillet and cook through and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining meatballs.
Serve the meatballs hot over spaghetti and marinara sauce of choice.
Makes about 30 (2-inch) meatballs.