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Meat ball recipe... what are the functions of ...


skyhskyh
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There's a meatball recipe I am using. And I am not sure what are the functions of some of the ingredients, please enlighten me =)

Recipe and Method:

Meat Mince

*mix mix mix until the meat become "sticky"

Add:

onion blended

*mix mix mix

bread crumbs, add milk and let them soak up the milk

*mix mix mix

eggs

*mix mix mix till all mixed up

make ball shape -> deep fry -> place in a stew liquid -> boiled once -> cool down, leave in fridge overnight, reheat and serve.

*******

What are the functions of bread crumbs + milk? Do they need to be mixed before adding to the mince or the crumbs can be added to mince by itself, then milk also by itself into the mince?

*******

What is the function of eggs? (just to bind them together? But when the mince is mix properly, it's quite "sticky" already...shouldn't this already stop from breaking up during cooking?)

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milk + fresh bread crumbs coat the meat proteins and prevent them from tightening and getting tough

this is the key step in meatloaf/meatballs.

some one here will have a reference to that. I use ground oatmeal (quick cook ) that I grind in the cuisinart. and milk

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"panada: Paste of water and flour or bread, used for forcemeats"

Usually i mix the bread and milk beforehand. I try to use quite a bit, it helps with a feeling of lightness. The eggs help with binding with the mixed in garnishes. I find they are for fragile with out the eggs. Plus It helps make them taste like meatballs and not a round overcooked hamburger.

Personally - usually I bake them, then i can freeze or refrigerate them fully cooked and fry/braise.

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apparently recent studies have suggested that milk + bread ( I think the bread only holds the milk close to the meat and is not in itself necessary other than that) do a lot more than "extend" the expensive meat.

it somehow coats the meat and prevents the meat proteins from fully contracting.

rice is sometimes added as an extender. this does not do the same thing.

this is probably coverd in MC and was covered on one of the show of American's test kitchen.

sorry I cant give you more data on that.

if I find out Ill let you know here.

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It is called a panade. It is a binder, somewhat of an extender and as rotuts said, it helps keep it tender, apparently extra necessary in your recipe since everything is mixed so much.

The mixing thing intrigued me, but I do recall reading somewhere that the mince for kebabs is mixed heavily until it becomes sticky and that it contributes in some way to the texture, but the ones I remember seeing don't have eggs in them.

I use crumbled fresh bread and a combination of cream and milk for the panade when I make meatballs letting it sit until the bread disintegrates. I mix all the seasonings into the panade before adding it to the meat as I have found this gets the seasonings distributed more thoroughly through the mixture with less effort (which I try to keep to a minimum). It's one of the reasons I continue to use a panade.

Regarding eggs, I have only ever read that they are used for binding purposes, but if the meat is being mixed until sticky, how much binding does it need? I no longer add them to meatballs myself, as I find I they hold together well enough (could proteins in the exuded liquid from the meat be binding in the panade?). I bake them, so they don't really get jostled about as they cook, and fragility is less of an issue.

Also, I'm wondering about proportions: how much bread and milk to meat?

Skyh, what's the origin of the recipe? Are you satisfied with it and curious about how it works, or are you wanting to change it in some way?

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The recipe is from the restaurant I work in.

Proportion: meat mince 4kg : bread crumbs 480grams : milk 1.2kg (if my memory is right)

+ 1.6 blended onions

I am mainly curious about what are the functions of each ingredients, I am not really satisfied with the result but I can't really change it since I don't think I am allowed to change it, I am not the boss =p

Having said that, I am not sure whether it is intended or that's they way it should be... but I really feel the meat ball when finished is too soft. Too soft in the mouth, I personally don't feel this should be a good "meatball" feel.

Previously I thought this "softness" was because of placing meatballs in a stew liquid overnight. Later I realised it's not that big difference. It's mainly the recipe because... as soon as I add eggs in the mince mixture... it becomes very "watery", "light" and "soft"

The amount of eggs I add is about 9 eggs.

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I would put my money that the blended onion is what you don't like. It can bump up the 'meatyness' of the beef but also acts as a tenderizer and can sometimes lead to a mushy texture. Aki and Alex use it in their burger blend as was mentioned in 'Ideas in Food'. Personally light, soft and juicy are all positives. Sounds like a good basic recipe, imo it could use some other things to add flavor.

No, you can't change it but you are allowed to have an opinion! (as long as you don't share it)

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The reasons for the bread/milk mixture and the egg have been well covered. I also use one egg to a kg (or 2 lbs.) of meat mix. I usually use a little more bread/milk mix than most recipes call for because I like the texture the bread/milk mix brings. I have not found that the order you mix things matters, but the egg blends better if it is beaten before adding.

For a fun experiment on why you use the milk/bread mix and eggs, next time you make meatballs, make a couple without the milk/bread mix and egg. Then add those ingredients and make the rest of the balls. The ones without the bread and eggs will be noticeably drier and chewier than the others.

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For a fun experiment on why you use the milk/bread mix and eggs, next time you make meatballs, make a couple without the milk/bread mix and egg. Then add those ingredients and make the rest of the balls. The ones without the bread and eggs will be noticeably drier and chewier than the others.

I once omitted the panade from a meatloaf I was making, thinking, "I don't need an extender. I've got a combination of quality meat here and don't need to worry about making the meal stretch to feed more mouths...so no panade."

The resulting meatloaf could have been used as a doorstop! It was quite dense, to say the least, and difficult to slice. I had to use my Forschner chef's knife to slice it where with a "normal" meatloaf, I could slice it with a regular spatula.

I'll never omit the panade again. Live and learn. :laugh:

 

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