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Meatballs, how do you stop them disintegrating?

(19 Posts)
chipmonkey Tue 24-May-05 12:19:46

The ds's love meatballs a la Captain Birds eye but I don't like giving them ready meals so I tried to make my own. However, they just disintegrated in the pan, both times I made them, didn't end up very spherical! What am I doing wrong?

Fio2 Tue 24-May-05 12:21:03

thgey are most probably too moist, i grill mine too not pan them

Chandra Tue 24-May-05 12:28:39

Are you adding egg? that holds them together even if you boil them.

Mothernature Tue 24-May-05 12:30:02

Try this way:

Meat Balls & Tomato Sauce
2 packs of minced beef or lamb (this will feed 6)
5 spring onions
2 slices bread
1 cup milk OR 1 cup red wine, to moisten
2 cups chopped celery
1 tin tomatoes
1 carton of passata (more convenient than jars)
1 tsp mixed herbs
Olive oil

Spices, all ground together
1 tsp coriander seeds OR 1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 bay leaf
6 cloves
1/2 tsp chilli powder

Mince bread, spring onions, ground spices, seasoning and milk/wine
Add meat and mince to mix all ingredients
Form minced ingredients into small balls
Brown in oil and set aside
Remove excess fat from pan and fry celery (onion is OK too)
Add tinned tomatoes and 1/2 carton passata
Season with salt & pepper and mixed herbs (little chilli or paprika optional)
Add meat balls and cook slowly for 20-30 minutes
If sauce needs amplifying, add more passata
Serve with spaghetti

Note: I find no need for egg, the balls hold together fine with the bread mix. You can obviously jazz up the sauce, with onions, herbs etc.

soapbox Tue 24-May-05 12:31:26

What are you adding to bind them together?

I use a cup of breadcrumbs and an egg!

chipmonkey Tue 24-May-05 12:31:41

I did add egg. I think Fio's probably right about them being too moist. Will try grilling. probably healthier too! Thanks girls!

TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 12:32:01

can i highjack this thread and ask if any one has a really easy, good tasting meatball recipes? TIA

soapbox Tue 24-May-05 12:32:33

Oops sorry - probably the most important bit is to shape them and then put them in fridge to set for 30mins before cooking!

They grill very well on a baking sheet, if you want to avoid frying them in fat!

chipmonkey Tue 24-May-05 12:33:55

OOOh MN that looks good, will try that!

Mothernature Tue 24-May-05 12:34:38

TrophyWife try here for meatball recipes

TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 12:34:59

im also going to try your recipe MN. thanks

chipmonkey Tue 24-May-05 12:35:49

And sb, the fridge sounds like it may be the missing link!

TrophyWife Tue 24-May-05 12:36:54

thanks for the link MN, but yours looks better

andif Tue 24-May-05 13:17:12

i cook mine in oven - hot for about 20 mins. Much less hassle and mess all round.

Satine Tue 24-May-05 13:19:32

I've got Delia's Pork recipe book and there's a great meatball recipe in there which I use a lot. It's probably on the Delia website - I'll try to find a link for you.

Satine Tue 24-May-05 13:21:51


Karensara Tue 24-May-05 23:42:10

- Put 1lb beef mince in a bowl,
- add 1 egg,
- 1 very finely chopped onion (I usually whizz the onion up in the Braun multiquick - if the onion pieces are too big, the meatballs do tend to fall apart)
- Then add just enough matzo meal or breadcrumbs to bring the mixture back so it is firm enough to handle, (as the egg makes it a bit "loose").
- Season, maybe add some Lea & Perrins or dried chili flakes and that's it.

Before rolling them up the secret tip is to have a small bowl of cold water to hand and keep dipping your hands in so they are always wet. Then take small walnut size scoops and roll in to balls and put them on plate in fridge for 15 mins or so. I think frying them in a non-stick pan helps keep them together too. I make burgers the same way, but make them larger. Always turn out fine - kids love'em.

Prufrock Wed 25-May-05 08:52:52

I have a brilliantly easy meatball recipe - German style (though I've adapted it and simplified quite a lot as I'm lazy.)

1 pack mince, 1 onion, 1 red pepper (get those hidden veggies in!), 1 egg, 2 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs. (also add anything lese you fancy in terms of garlic/herbs).

Whizz it all up in processor. Put 1 lt stock in a pan and boil (I use Marigold powder, but weak). Form the mixture into walnut sized pieces and drop into the simmering stock (see no frying!). Leave simmering gently for 10 minutes after making last ball.

Drain pan, keeping meatballs and stock. Melt 1 tbsp butter and stir in 1 tbsp flour. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the stock, a little at a time stirring until combined after each addition. Flavour sauce with lemon juice. You can also add capers if you want to make a nod to authenticity but I usually don't. If the sauce looks too thick (you want pouring cream consistency), just add boiling water. Put the meatballs back in the pan and simmer for another 15 -30 minutes depending on when you can get everybody sat down.

I usually serve this with rice. I have given it to loads of kids and they all seem to love it - boiling the meatballs gives them a better texture for kids. Adults like it to though. It also freezes really well in individual portions.

Twiglett Wed 25-May-05 08:53:43

egg to bind

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