The WWF Cookbook is a treasure trove of crazy recipes from the Attitude Era, each of which is purportedly the creation of one of the wrestlers. In Wrestling With Food, Sydney is on a mission to try cooking all of them to see if any are actually edible.
Ah, yes. One of the three BALLS recipes in this cookbook (NOTE FROM TOM: Find out what the other two were in my Merch Table about the WWF Cookbook! DO IT NOW).I liked this one the best because there was a lot of alliteration in the title: Hardcore Holly’s Big Beefy Meatballs. Also, given it’s an Attitude Era Cookbook, it’s also just a little crass, which is always enjoyable.
Before I begin, let me just highlight the quote that I’m assuming is supposed to represent JR’s comments on the recipe:
“Hardcore Holly eats every two to three hours! That means he sets his alarm and wakes up to eat. Hardcore is very serious about his food, and he prepares this recipe when he’s looking for plenty of protein. He says cayenne pepper is good for your heart, too. Hardcore is as physically tough a competitor as any in the Federation, and these meatballs are primo!”
The general excitement is great, as is the realistic claim that Hardcore Holly is waking up at least once or twice in the middle of the night to snack on some balls.
Let’s get it going!
2 pounds ground sirloin.
1 onion, diced.
1 cup soft breadcrumbs.
1 cup tomato sauce.
¼ soy sauce.
½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste.
Garlic salt to taste.
Salt to taste.
Freshly ground pepper to taste.
Please note: I halved the recipe. The full list of ingredients is supposed to give you 24 meatballs. When I halved it, I somehow ended up with 18, and they were larger than 1-inch. The WWE math is once again, amazing.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and roll the mixture into 1-inch balls
Truly, one reason I really enjoy making meatballs (or meatloaf). It’s so easy.
ACTUAL TIP: I hate chopping onions (or anything) by hand, so I used our handheld chopper/immersion blender. All the chopping in about two seconds, none of the tears from cutting onions. If you have about $50/60 bucks to spare, and you do any sort of regular baking that has you chopping onions/garlic/peppers/what have you, it’s well worth it. When Steve Blackman moved into his condo in Sedona, I brought him one as a housewarming gift.
3. Brown the meatballs in a skillet for 10 minutes then transfer them to a 13 x 9 inch pan and cook, covered, for 40-45 minutes.
4. Serve over noodles or rice, eat with some french bread, or serve as an appetizer.
And here’s where we went in a little bit of a different direction. The meatballs, while moist, still need some sort of sauce, in my opinion. So, serving them over rice or noodles didn’t seem all that exciting. INSTEAD we decided to toast up some Italian bread with a little mozzarella cheese, and make meatball sandwiches:
While these are not traditional italian meatballs in terms of taste or seasoning, mozzarella isn’t a particularly strong tasting cheese either, so they worked with the whole cayenne pepper/soy flavoring these had. I still think some sort of sauce would have made these go from good to great, but as they were with some toasted bread and cheese – not bad!
Like I said, I think a good sauce would have brought this up to four stars. I’m not sure what kind of sauce yet – tomato sauce doesn’t seem quite right, but just a little something more. On a sandwich, they were a perfectly acceptable and tasty dinner. Went back and had the leftovers during the week, and was equally satisfied.
My star rating: 3½ out of 5 stars.
Comments from Tom:
In general, I do NOT care for meatballs, but that’s mostly because marinara sauce is just the most boring thing in the world, so I was happy that ol’ Hardcore decided not to force that upon us. They were good! Some spice, but I could have done with a little more. They’re meatballs, man. What do you want me to say?
Tom’s star rating: 3¼ out of 5 stars.
Until next time, friends!