When you are cooking with kids, there is such a huge feeling of accomplishment when they learn how to do things from scratch. Even better? When they can get super-dirty doing it! Rolling meatballs by hand is one of life’s greatest thrills. There is so much control over what happens too – tiny, huge. Bake them. Fry them in a pan. A touch of Worcestershire, a dash of spice. Teaching kids to cook creatively are lessons that will last them a lifetime. Meatballs and the creation of a homemade ruby red sauce are great places to begin.
Making Meatballs from Scratch
Meatballs can be made with beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken, sausage or a combo. My favourite combo is beef and pork in an equal ratio. If you are using extra lean meats, it’s a good idea to grease your baking pan.
Ruby Red Sauce
The recipe below is an easy one for kids, with minimal chopping and stove time. If you desire, you can use fresh onions and garlic. I will mix it up depending on what is in the fridge as well. Red pepper flakes, chilis, cayenne, chopped cilantro and chives are all great options. The red wine vinegar gives it a great flavour punch. That said, the quick and easy method is pretty tasty too! You can make a double batch and store it in the fridge for a week as well.
Meatball Cooking Methods
As I mentioned, there are two ways to cook your meatballs. The simplest is to place the raw meatballs into a baking dish and cover with your red sauce. Bake at 375 for one hour, covered in tinfoil. Alternately, you can fry the meatballs on a stove. Let them get brown on one side before gently rolling them onto another one. The cooking time will be approximately 10 minutes, until the centre is fully done. These meatballs can be cooled, frozen or kept in the fridge for snacks.
I also love this spaghetti and meatball recipe from Canadian chef Michael Smith.