The Spicy Meat To Boost The Flavor Of Your Meatballs

Of the many, many uses we can find for a package of ground beef — from simple burgers to spiced kebabs to juicy meatloaf — meatballs might be one of the tastiest and most comforting. Ranging from tomato-sauced Italian to mild, creamy Swedish to sweet and spicy BBQ varieties, meatballs typically combine ground beef and other meats with seasonings, herbs, breadcrumbs or other binders, and eggs, coming together in flavorful little nuggets that are as welcome atop a pile of spaghetti as they are tucked into a hero sandwich.

While most of us probably associate meatballs with the Italian type, it's a dish that's truly universal, its flavor profile adapted all over the world. The dish went global some time ago — according to Escoffier, one theory about the origin of meatballs is that they were first made in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran), in the form of kofta, those spice-scented balls or cylinders that are typically made with lamb and cooked on skewers (via Delighted Cooking). Through the centuries, meatballs have proliferated around the world, with some variation being made in nearly every country on earth, according to Voice of America.

Mix some spicy sausage into your meatballs for fuller flavor

Depending on which culinary tradition they belong to, meatballs are often made with a mix of ground meats, something you probably already know if you've ever spotted a package of "meatball mix" — a blend of beef, pork, and sometimes veal — in the supermarket (via Scholze Family Beef). Using a mix of meats can provide fuller flavor, and can add additional, tasty fat if you happen to be using very lean ground beef.

That's why the next time you mix up some meatballs, you should make sure to pick up some hot Italian sausage, according to The Spruce Eats. The outlet notes that the spiced, fatty pork adds depth and dimension to the meatballs, which can be simmered in tomato sauce for serving atop pasta or inside a meatball sub. You can purchase the sausage in link form, to be cut open and mixed into the beef, or in bulk form, which is left loose — and of course, if you're not much one for spice, you can select sweet Italian sausage, instead.