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Old 02-09-2013, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
400 posts, read 1,732,194 times
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I'd like to make myself meatballs for dinner tomorrow, but I'm confused by the recipes I've found online. Half of them require you to saute the meatballs in olive oil before you transfer them to the spaghetti sauce.

Can I just put them raw in the spaghetti sauce instead and let them simmer on low-med heat for 30 to 35 minutes? Or do I need to saute the meat before I transfer the meatballs to the spaghetti sauce.

Also, I don't like pork. Do I have to use pork in my meatball recipe or is all beef just fine?
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:37 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,898 posts, read 46,077,774 times
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Yes saute' them first. In fact, do that tonight and let them sit in the sauce overnight (refrigerated of course) and you'll have what I think is the best meatball. Raw won't cook in 30 minutes in sauce.

Yes, all beef is fine. I also add cooked sweet Italian sausage to my meatballs and sauce. I cook it in a Crock Pot through the dat.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:43 PM
 
Location: St. Croix
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All beef is fine, no worries. And you're correct, they will continue to cook in the sauce depending on how long you cook the sauce. However, for texture, you might be better served by searing these in the saucepan with very little olive oil/butter. The olive oil/butter depends on whether you're using a 70/30 or 80/20 for the beef. Also important is the binder you'll use (i.e. bread crumbs, yogurt, sour cream, eggs, minced onion/garlic, stuff a bit of mozzarella inside the meat, etc.).

Make the sauce first, then do a test meatball and see how it is. If you like what you taste then carry on. Otherwise, just tweak and do another test meatball. The test meatballs will likely be smaller so that you don't get too full with your taste testing.

Post back and let us know what you did, what you used. I love meatballs and am always experimenting, sometimes with beef, beef/pork, pork, lamb so I'm interested in what you come up with. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Texas
44,266 posts, read 56,155,481 times
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You can pretty much use any meat you want for meatballs.
I have used turkey.
Cook 'em first. It won't 'overcook' them to simmer them in sauce later.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:43 PM
 
Location: In a house
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If you use all beef, use either 80% chuck or 85% lean. If it's too lean, it won't taste or cook as nicely.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
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It will give a much better flavor and texture if you saute them first.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:18 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,391 posts, read 7,696,051 times
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I put mine on a foil lined sheet pan with some olive oil and bake them first, then put them in the sauce to simmer. All beef is fine, sometimes I mix in turkey, chicken or hot italian sausage.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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Sauteing meatballs first does two things... it cooks them through, and it browns the outside which greatly improves the flavor.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:24 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
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Three things ...most importantly browning them will help them hold together in the sauce. Season 'em, brown them up and throw them in the sauce! All beef is fine! Simple!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Islip,NY
18,287 posts, read 22,679,277 times
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I have been cooking my meatballs in the sauce raw for years, this is how my dad's mom taught my mother to do it. If you don't want to fry the meatballs first you can bake them on a cookie sheet on 350 for 25 minutes, then add to the sauce. I add my meatballs to the sauce the last 40 minutes. I simmer my sauce on low for 5 hours but I also add browned Italian sausage to my sauce and it cooks the the whole time and then I add my meatballs.
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