Makes About 48 meatballs
*Approximately 2.5 pounds of ground meat (I used about 1/2 ground certified humane pork and 1/2 grass fed ground beef)
*Ground Oats (amount needed will vary depending on how "wet" the meat is, I grind my own with my handy Magic Bullet knock off)
*A few tablespoons of fresh ground Parmesan
*Italian blend seasoning: (I am able to purchase a blend at Cost Plus World Market that contains only the following so I use it - something I don't have to make/mix from scratch, sign me up.)
One large dog under foot (Oh wait that's not necessary AT ALL but Scratch loves meatball making day. Never know what kinds of bits of meat will drop.)
Dump everything EXCEPT the ground oats into a large bowl and mix well. Prior to receiving the gift of a Kitchen Aide stand mixer (Thank you again Aunt Barb) I mixed this by hand. It's gooey and takes a while. If you have a stand mixer use the flat paddle. Let it mix well for a few minutes. It should be sticky. Start adding the ground oats until the meat stays in one large chunk on the paddle and the meat is "mold-able".
Once everything is mixed well, I use a medium size cookie scoop to drop the meat onto cookie sheets as it keeps them uniform in size and shape but prior to the scoop (Thank you again mom) I used my hands and made fist sized meatballs. A broiler pan works well too if you want the fat to drip down. I like my meatballs cooked on a sheet so the fat will ooze out but still add flavor... yummy. A little healthier than just frying 'em in a skillet, which also works.
The meat balls cook about 15-20 mins at 350 but I usually start checking on them at about the 10 min point. If I'm dropping them right into sauce I usually just lightly brown them so they stay together in the sauce. If they aren't lightly browned in the oven they run the risk of falling apart in the sauce. Typically however, I make a bunch at once and freeze most of them.
Grass fed beef and high quality pork have very little fat so as you can see in the last picture the edges around the meat balls brown a little but they are by no means swimming in grease.
They are ready to eat RIGHT NOW. Literally. I took pictures while I made them this morning. David is coming home for lunch in a while so we will eat some soon. The rest will go in the freezer.
I typically put the meatballs right into the freezer as is on the pans (AFTER THEY ARE COOL!!) Once they are frozen solid (about 2 hours or so) I put them in Zipperlock Freezer bag. If they are frozen in this manner they don't stick together in a clump and I can take out a few at a time.
- Meatball grinders
- Spaghetti & meatballs
- Pizza topping
If sauce is involved I typically put them right in the sauce. If I remember I let them thaw an hour or so in the fridge on a plate but if it's a last minute thing I drop them in the sauce from the freezer. For pizza it's best thawed in the fridge first. Otherwise I stick 'em in the oven or toaster oven for 5-10 mins until warmed through. They are cooked so it doesn't take much. We don't use the microwave much but I suppose they could go in there for a re-heat.