Friday, February 12, 2010

Make-Ahead Meatballs -- new recipe review

This recipe caught my eye because it mentioned using cooked brown rice instead of bread crumbs or crackers as a filler. Although I ought to, I haven't started making my own bread crumbs and didn't want to buy a processed kind with mysterious ingredients :) I love Food Renegade's recipes because they contain "real" ingredients instead of processed food. These meatballs were very flavorful and everyone in my family enjoyed them. My 1-year old really surprised me: I gave her a piece of one right after they came out of the oven, and every few minutes she would toddle back over to me, signing, "please" because she wanted more. She ate a ridiculous amount of meatballs that day! I'll be using this recipe from now on!

  • 3 eggs from pastured hens
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or half a large one)
  • 1 1/3 C. bread crumbs (or cooked brown rice)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian herb blend
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 lbs. grass-fed ground beef

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the next six ingredients and mix well. Finally, add the beef and mix well. Shape the meatballs into one inch balls (should make approximate 100 meatballs). Place in single layers on ungreased 1-inch deep baking pans and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, until done.

Drain the fats and store for later use or (heaven forbid!) discard.

Once the meatballs and pans have cooled to the touch, place the meatballs (tray and all) into your freezer to “flash freeze” them. After they’ve frozen, remove the meatballs from the trays and transfer to plastic freezer storage bags or other freezer storage.

Keep stored in freezer and remove only as many meatballs as you need at a time. You can thank the flash freezing for that. It helps each meatball hold its individual shape and not stick to the other meatballs around it. This way, you can remove as few or as many meatballs as you need for whatever you’re serving up.

Reheat make ahead frozen meatballs on the stove, in sauces, or in the oven (350F for 20 minutes).