Why do meatballs taste so good in restaurants but so dry and bland when you make them at home??
In desperation, we’ve asked Eugenio Maiale, Chef and Founder of A Tavola, Flour Eggs Water, and new meatball eatery, Palle, for his tips!
Here’s what he had to say!
1. Picking the best produce
The first step in creating your meatball, and arguably the most important, is deciding on the right meat for you. For an authentic Italian taste, I recommend a mix of ground meats like beef, pork and veal. Source these from your local butcher to ensure you are getting the highest-quality, hormone-free meats for a really premium flavour.
2. Keep it basic
Where a lot of people tend to go wrong with their meatballs, is trying to complicate it, adding unnecessary ingredients which can actually strip back the traditional taste. Palle’s ethos is based on the Maiale family recipe; basic but full of sustenance and love. Of course, your meatballs will need seasoning, but avoid saturating your mixture in redundant extras that will only minimise that classic flavour.
3. Ensure your mixture remains cold and moist
This step is crucial and has the ability to take a good meatball to a perfect meatball. Keeping your ingredients as cold as possible stops the fatty goodness keeps from melting and breaking down before you’re ready to cook and fry. Remember that fat equals flavour, so we want to make sure we maintain as much as possible in the preparation stage. Don’t skip on the moist ingredients like eggs and milk, which will help to ensure your finished product is nice and tender.
4. Test, test, test
A true chef wouldn’t serve something that isn’t up to their standards, so utilise those tastebuds before plating up. Ahead of cooking that first batch, I recommend you fry up a singular patty to see if the seasoning is to your liking. There is nothing worse than finishing your dish, only to wish you added more salt!
5. Choose the right sauce – and be generous
When it comes to plating up, avoid bland, dry meatballs by dousing it in your favourite sauce. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, my favourite is my mum, Maria’s, classic tomato sugo. A juicy, flavoursome meatball pairs the best with a classic Italian red sauce made fresh,, to really enhance (but not drown out) the final taste