February 20, 2018

Great Big Batch of Meatballs

I have a recipe to share with you today, friends. A great big batch of meatballs... My Hubby's favorite meatballs. This is one of my most used recipes and always a big hit at our place.

These are fantastic when made with ground beef, but I especially like making them with game meat, when we have it. The pork sausage and game meat pair together very nicely, I think. And a few years ago, I began sneaking the shredded carrots into the mix... it's not a lot, but I appreciate an easy way to get another bite or two of veggies into my tribe!

Here is my recipe for you...


My Hubby's Favorite Meatballs {recipe}

Ingredients:

3 pounds ground beef (elk or deer)1 pound spicy pork sausage
1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats (uncooked)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 large eggs
8 oz tomato sauce (divided usage)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 carrots, peeled and finely shredded (about 1 cup shredded)
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
parsley flakes for garnish

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly spray a 12 x 18 inch baking dish, or 2 - 9 x 13 inch baking dishes, with cooking spray.

You will need a very large mixing bowl to mix this all together.

Put the quick oats and ground flax seeds into the large mixing bowl. Break open the eggs and add them to the bowl. Add about half of the tomato sauce (about 4 oz) and all of the warm water to the bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Add the chopped onion, shredded carrots, ground oregano, garlic powder, and ground black pepper to the mixing bowl. Mix well.

Add the ground beef (elk or deer) and the pork sausage to the large mixing bowl that contains the rest of the ingredients. Using clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix to thoroughly combine all ingredients.

Family note: This mixing step is known as gooshing at our place. And, while I goosh everything together, one or more of my children often stand nearby and gushes... "that looks so good!" and "oh, how yummy!" and so on.

So while I goosh the meat mixture, they gush encouraging words. We always laugh hysterically about this gooshing and gushing tradition. Yes, we are easily entertained. {smile} Do try this fun step, though... love and laughter are always good additions to a recipe.

Back to the actual recipe...

Now that everything is mixed together it is time to form meatballs. I use a 1/3 cup dry measuring cup for the first few, then do my best to match that size to portion out the rest of the meat mixture, forming each portion into a ball and placing the balls into the prepared baking pan(s) being sure that they do not touch one another.

Once all of the meatballs are shaped and in the pan, evenly spoon the remaining 4 oz (or so) of tomato sauce on top of them, approximately 1 teaspoon per meatball. Then, sprinkle parsley flakes lightly on top.

Cover the pan and bake in the preheated 350 degree (F) oven for approximately one hour, or until cooked through. Meatballs are done when they are not pink in the middle and the juices are clear. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and remove the cover. Do be careful of the potential steam when you remove the cover from the pan.

Serve immediately or let cool before packaging them for storage in the refrigerator (short term) or freezer (long term).

Recipe makes approximately 34 meatballs.

Tip: These meatballs freeze beautifully, if you would like to save some for another day. To reheat, put the desired number of frozen meatballs on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees (F) until heated through. Or, put them into a sauce and let them simmer until thawed and reheated.

Another tip: This is the same mixture I use for meatloaf... rather than forming meatballs, shape into two loaves and bake at 350 degrees (F), covered, until done. Usually about 1 hour and 15 minutes in my oven.

I do hope you like this recipe as much as we do.

Enjoy!




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