Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bob Dylan's Balls

Not long ago, I came across a recipe for meatballs that Bob Dylan had included on his Theme Time Radio Hour. At a loose end for something to cook for tonight's diner, I grabbed Bob's
ingredients and threw them together.

They were delicious. Best meatballs I've ever eaten.

The Perfect Meatball
3 minced cloves garlic
¼ cup vegetable oil (for frying)
1 pound ground meat (equal parts beef, pork, veal [I used only beef--ground pork is icky])
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
9 Saltine crackers, finely crushed
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper
dried basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Heat the oil over a low heat in a large Dutch oven. In a big bowl, add the meat, garlic, cheese, crackers, and spices. Mix lightly with your fingers. Don’t be shy—get into it. In a small bowl, whisk the water, the egg, and the tomato paste. Add the egg mixture to the meat mixture. Mix it lightly with your fingers. Form it into drum shapes, or balls. Cook in batches, over medium high heat, until it's browned on both sides. That will be about five minutes total. Serve 'em up with some potatoes, or some spaghetti, or just make a sandwich out of them. You're gonna love 'em.
Only thing missing: Gravy. Threw a tablespoon of flour into the pan, hotted it up, after the balls were cooked and staying hot in a 300-degree oven. One cup of beef broth, stir constantly until it's reduced by half and thickened. One cup of cream goes in, cook till it's just on the edge of boiling. Serve separately, with mashed potatoes. A nice vinaigrette salad, mebbe some bread...

GREAT balls. Bob Dylan makes DELICIOUS balls.

Best thing is, as you're cooking, you are not only free, but encouraged, to spend the whole time talking like Bob Dylan. "Well, you jis' th'ow in 'em cracker crumbs an' spices, en you jis' getcher fingers innat ground meat an' mix it awl up, don' be afraid, getcher fingers awl greezy..."

And when you're done, be sure to send any leftovers to tax-de-duc-tible char-i-ty or-gani-za-tionnnnnnnnns!


Ronzoni Rigatoni said...

So, everything seems legit, 'cept for the cracker crumbs. Momma always used bread crumbs, sometimes made from stale, yet home made, bread. Never bothered to fry 'em. Just Drop 'em inta the spag sauce and lettem cook for a few hours. Caution, they will soak up a lotta sugo.

Neddie said...

Well, you know, Saltines are, well, you know, salty.

I've used 'em in other recipes before, substitute for breadcrumbs. Best fried chicken I ever ate called for Corn Flakes instead of breadcrumbs. Somethin' is happenin' here, but you don't know what it is...

Wonder Woman uses fresh bread for her famous meatloaf. Seen her plucking apart bits of Wonder Woman Bread, plunkin' each bit into the bowl. Seems like a whole lotta work for not much reward, but she swears by it. The results speak for themselves.

xjmueller said...

Ground pork is icky? If you eat it raw it is... all great little meat treats use pork: bratwurst, italian sausage, kielbasa, etc... All-beef sausage might be a bit healthier, but not as tasty.

The recipe calls for "meatloaf" mix (beef, pork, veal) which you can find in nice 1-lb packs at your local store. For chrissakes, man, even Stuporfresh in Brunswick carries it. You'll get a less dense meatball with a nicer flavor - the veal and pork a little more tender and will be a bit juicier. We use it for hamburgers and, as the name implies, it's also makes a good meatloaf.

I like your gravy recipe, if the meatballs don't clog the arteries, the cream will. Yum.

Neddie said...

I never said it was health food, XJ! Tonight, to make up for it, it'll be a couple of twigs and a handful of grated straw.

The, er, Buried Lede in your comment, though, was the "Superfresh in Brunswick" reference. Are you a Local Yokel? Have we met?

Damn this Incognito Internet anyway!

Anonymous said...

Neddie thanks for printing this recipe, my husband loves Bob Dylan more than any other performance artist, we go together to the shows. He thinks Bob is too skinney to eat meat, what do you think? I think he is medium perfect just the way he is. Thanks for the recipe. I'll make it Thursday.

Michiel said...

Very cool to discover that the recipe calls for a Dutch oven - with me being Dutch, and having no idea that that's what you guys call our braadpan.

As soon as I convert the recipe to metric, I'll be sure to try Bob's balls - they sound great!

Beth said...

Best recipe name evah! I'm trying my damndest not to throw in a lyric ...

Anonymous said...

seems weird he would have this recipe. Bob Dylan is Jewish, what's with the pork??..also he is a vegetarian..sounds good tho!!