Culinary Essentials is a recurring feature that aims to give guys a few go-to recipes that are tasty, healthy, and almost impossible to fuck up. Almost. This week: BALLS!

Being able to cook up some delicious meatballs is never a bad thing, especially if you want to cut down you’re trips to Ikea just to get your hands on some (although that lingonberry sauce is legit). This recipe contains a devilish blend of three (yes, three!) different kinds of meat. Feel free to experiment with your favorite meat mixtures to find out what works best for your carnivorously inclined taste buds, but I find beef, lamb, and pork to be the holy trinity when it comes to tasty, moist (sorry) balls of meat.

I always have to mention that many of the quantities are, at best, unscientific. I throw in salt, pepper, etc. largely by feel. Cook more and you’ll start doing the same thing. I’m being a smart ass, but my dad always said it’s better to be a smart ass than a dumb ass.

Here’s what you’ll need for the balls:

1 lbs. ground beef (grass fed. Always grass fed)

1 lbs. ground pork

1 lbs. ground lamb

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 egg

1/4 cup bread crumbs

olive oil to pan fry

red pepper flakes (quantity depending on heat tolerance)

salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do for the balls:

Slop everything into a large mixing bowl and mix around with your bear hands (yes, bear hands). Get real messy and mix everything up into a well incorporated meat slurry. Get a sheet of wax paper handy and start rolling those balls. Pick out golf-ball sized hunks of the slurry and roll them in your hands into balls. I like to make them into egg-like shapes because they are easier to turn over when you’re pan frying them.

Heat up the olive oil in a large sauce pan (as large as you have. You’re going to be making the sauce in the same pan). Drop in the balls once the oil is hot and start to fry. You can probably start turning the first one’s over once you’ve placed the last one’s in the pot. It can be trick at first to get the feel for this. I use two small spoons to help me turn them. Brown all four sides and remove from the oil and switch the pan onto low heat. They should be nice and brown, and will fully cook later when they’re in the sauce. Now, speaking of…

Here’s what you’ll need for the sauce:

1 12 oz. can diced tomatos

1 12 oz. can tomato sauce

1 8 oz. can tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine


red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what you do for the sauce:

As soon as you pull the meatballs off (keep them close) pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan. This will get all the bomb-ass crispy bits from the meatballs off of the bottom of the pan and will make the sauce taste that much better. After the pan is deglazed, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until incorporated. Bring to a simmer and add back in the meatballs so that they are all completely covered by the sauce. Put a lid on it and switch to the lowest heat.

Now, you can let this cook for pretty much as long as you want. The longer it stews, the better it tastes. I wouldn’t cook it for any less than 30 min, 45 to an hour for best results. Boil up some pasta or toast some crunchy bread for a meatball sandwich. Believe me when I say it will be the best meatloaf sandwich you’ve ever had, and you’ll probably never go to Subway again. Bon Apetit!

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Peter Secan

Peter Secan

Peter is an architectural designer, freelance writer, and creator of The Self Aware Man. He wants to use this blog to share his thoughts and experiences, and much of his power is derived from the baldness of his head. He currently freelances for several blogs, including BusyBoo, Easy Render and Games Like Zone.

1 Comment

  1. Dad
    April 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm — Reply

    Actually, it was your brother Evan that came up with the “better to be a smart ass …” comment.

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