March 9th. Today is National Meatball Day! Ready to make some mouth-watering meatballs?Andrea and Jay Patruno, owners of the famous Patruno's Place food truck, have created the One Pound Giant Meatball -- and now share below their recipe for this culinary wonder – so you can enjoy some yummy homemade meatballs with your family and friends.
Patruno’s Place is a Hartford, CT-based food truck that will be joining us at many New England food truck festivals. Jay Patruno, a full time construction worker, started this truck as a side gig and was shocked at how popular it became almost instantly.
As an Italian, Jay grew up appreciating Italian cooking and developed a passion for cooking. He has been making meatballs for over 30 years and his kids have loved trying his meatball recipes as they grew up! Seven years ago, he came up with his One Pound Meatball and two years later, he debuted the one-pounder at a local fair. People loved it!! Soon, Patruno’s Place and the Patrunos were getting invitations to participate in festivals all over New England. Catch them (if you can!) at any of the 2020 New England Food Truck & Craft Beer Festivals, and check out where they’ll be in the coming weeks on their Facebook page. Celebrate National Meatball Day with Patruno’s.
Now it is the fifth year of Patruno's Place, Andrea and Jay have made big changes. They’ve added new items onto their menu and they opened a second trailer, a bigger one! From April to November, the two trailers travel to multiple events to satisfy eaters across New England with the signature meatball, vegetarian rice ball, and chicken parm.
Andrea and Jay love to talk about
people’s reaction to the giant meatballs. They told us about this story of a lady and her son who came and bought a One Pound Giant Meatball one day. “He bought a meatball and went back for another and his mother, she just had this expression on her face and she goes: Whyyyyy? Because the thing was so big and she just couldn’t understand it! The way she said it was so funny!” Jay laughed.
Now onto the recipe! Straight from Jay himself, he gives us the inside scoop on how he prepares the mammoth meatball…
“We use all beef. We get all beef 8119 hamburger mix. Strictly beef no veal no pork... We use a lot of grated Parmesan cheese, very little breadcrumbs. And then we use garlic, onion, salt, one egg per pound of meat, so every one pound of meatball has an egg in it. A quarter cup of Parmesan for every one pound meatball so between the fresh Parmesan and the egg that makes a really heavy and dense meatball.” -Jay Patruno
Want to enjoy the delicious meatball with your beloved ones and have your own meatball filled stories? The original recipe is a family secret, but you can try the modified recipe below to make your own, similar version of the One Pound Giant Meatball!
2 pounds ground beef 8119 hamburger mix
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
Soak breadcrumbs in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Cook and stir onions in hot oil until soft and translucent. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, garlic and keep stirring it for another minute. Turn off heat and cool the onion.
Mix beef, stir onions, bread crumb mixture, Parmesan cheese, eggs, the rest of the salt, and parsley in a large bowl until combined. You can combine the mixture with your hands or use a rubber spatula.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Shape the meat into desired size. Form the mixture into 2 one pound giant meatballs like Jay does, or just follow your heart! Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for about 45 minutes for bigger meatballs or 15-25 minutes for smaller ones.
(Optional) Add them to a pot of marinara sauce and stir gently to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
For our courageous readers who are planning on giving this recipe a try, be sure to share your meatball pictures and stories with us in the comment area below!
For readers who want to save themselves the time and energy but are truly as intrigued by the Giant Meatball as we are, come and enjoy the signature meatball crafted by Jay himself at our New England food truck festivals! Easy and Fun! There will also be pies, craft beers, hot dogs, etc. Endless food and drinks that are mouth-watering and great for pictures! Buy presale tickets for only $5 per person now.
By Yuzhu Zeng
2020 Food Truck & Craft Beer Festivals
ALL OF WHICH WERE LATER CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
Great New Mexico Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, March 28 & 29 - International Balloon Museum
South Carolina Food Truck & Beer Festival - April 25, South Carolina State Fair
Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, May 16 & 17 - Fort Adams State Park
Worcester Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, June 6 - Worcester Commons
Milwaukee Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, June 20 - Waukesha Expo Center
Cape Cod Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, August 8 - Cape Cod Fairgrounds
New Hampshire Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, August 23 - Cisco Brewers in Portsmouth, NH
New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, September 12 - Fort Taber
Salem Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, September 26 & 27 - Salem Common