Best-Ever Meatballs

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READY IN: 2hrs
Recipe by delianeal

This is adapted from an old Spanish dish with alterations made to suit American tastes. You can make these into little meatballs for an excellent appetizer or you can make them larger for an entree.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the meat, eggs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, soften the bread crumbs with the wine for 10 minutes Add the crumbs and wine to the meat mixture and mix well - you will need to do this with your hands in order to get everything incorporated well.
  2. Make your balls. For appetizers, I make 1-inch wide balls, for a main dish, you can make them about 3-inches wide.
  3. In a large non-stick casserole (a large Le Creuset dutch oven is my preferred vessel for this - whatever you use, it needs to be large enough to hold all the balls, and heavy enough to cook evenly, and it needs a lid), heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the balls. If you are making the appetizer-sized balls, you will probably have to do this in batches, adding oil as needed. Move the browned ones to paper towels to drain while you’re cooking the rest.
  4. When the balls are all browned, add additional oil if needed and cook the onion gently over medium heat until it’s wilted (make sure you do not burn the onion - reduce heat and wait for a few minutes if your stove tends to over heat).
  5. After the onion has wilted, put the balls back in the pan and stir gently to get them warmed back up. Pour the brandy into the pan and stand back. Light a match and touch it just over the top of the meatballs - the brandy should ignite and flame up. Without panicking, stir the meatballs gently until the flames completely subside. Add the tomato sauce and broth. Salt to taste, stir to combine and cover.
  6. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes. You may want to check from time to time to make sure there is enough liquid. I have sometimes added more wine or broth about halfway through. You want enough sauce to coat the meatballs, but not so much that it's soupy.
  7. These can sit in a chafing dish and are even better the next day. If serving as a main meal, steamed rice or boiled new potatoes are a great addition.

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