Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Meatballs for Days (Freezer Meatballs)

Meatballs in Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Sauce
Cooked meatballs ready for the freezer

This recipe idea was inspired by The Pioneer Woman. I tried to locate the recipe I saw on her Food Network show, but it was going to take too long. Basically, I used the recipe I have for meatballs and multiplied it. Then I froze meal-sized bags of the cooked meatballs for later use, just like Ree did. I thought I could get five meals out of this, but after my husband tasted tonight's rendition, I'm going to say it's for four meals. 
Tonight I took about 14-15 of the cooked meatballs and simmered them in Robert's Reserve Roasted Pineapple & Habanero Sauce that I got from my dear friend Jen. I'm serving them with Home Made French Fries tonight, as my husband thought that would be a good pairing. Had I not asked him, I'd probably have made Rice Pilaf. Next time, I think I'll try them in BBQ sauce. And, of course, I'm sure some of them will make their way into spaghetti or a meatball sandwich.
These meatballs are very flavorful on their own and I think they'll go well with just about any sauce I choose to put them into. As I try different sauces, I will try to add pics and comments. 
That's all. I'm not feeling very chatty today. Enjoy.

Meatballs for Days (Freezer Meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten free breadcrumbs from gf French rolls)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 small onions, finely diced
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup grated jack cheese
  • 5 pounds ground ground (90/10)

Instructions: 
In a very large bowl, place the breadcrumbs and pour the milk over them. Allow to sit while you prepare the onions & garlic.
Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, stir, and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
To the breadcrumbs and milk, add the eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and jack cheese. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Mix in the onions and garlic a little at a time (so you don't cook the eggs). Add the ground beef. With your hands (I use plastic gloves for this), gently incorporate the beef into the other ingredients until the mixture is uniform. Cover and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a medium size cookie scoop (approx 2 tablespoons), scoop mixture out and onto a wax paper lined sheet pan. After all meat has been scooped, roll each into a nice ball shape and place on a sheet pan that has been covered with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (I used 2 half sheet pans for this). 
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (the ones you see above are actually over baked).
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Move cooked meatballs to another baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer until frozen solid, and then place meatballs in zip top freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use.

Makes about 5 dozen meatballs


I scoop all of the meatballs and THEN I roll them into balls.
Ready for the oven
These cooked too long and look weird on the pan.
Once they're in a sauce, though, this look won't matter.

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