Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Strange Burst of Efficiency

Sometimes I buy frozen packages of meatballs from Trader Joe's, but today I decided to make a whole lot of meatballs and freeze some. This is very unusual for me! My freezer is usually full of convenience food, bread, and ice packs of various sorts. (We threw out the 8 year old rolls of photo film when we installed our new refrigerator last month.)

For my meatballs, I used 2 lb. of grass-fed ground beef (the leanest) and a pound of whatever ecologically green ground pork Whole Foods had to offer. As a result, I did not spend less per meatball than at TJ's. But that's not what was driving me, anyway. I wanted to have some home-made meatballs in the freezer.

Above you can see one of the 2 trays of meat balls before I put them in the oven. And below, the still steaming meatballs just as they came out. This was the tray that went into 2 freezer boxes:

For dinner, I simmered the other tray of baked meatballs in some tomato sauce (this was from Trader Joe's but I added a dash of sugar and balsamic vinegar to it). We ate around half of it for dinner; I thought it was good:

To make meatballs I use 1 egg and one-half to one small, finely chopped onion per pound of meat. Today I put in panko crumbs (I sometimes use other starchy stuff such as matzoh meal or oatmeal), parsley flakes, herbs de Provence, and a squeeze of tomato paste from my handy tomato paste tube. Sometimes I flavor them differently. Always salt and pepper, though. I don't measure all the seasonings, just eyeball it and feel it to see if it needs more crumbs. I mix it up thoroughly, gently form meat balls tucking the onion pieces inside the meat so they don't separate while cooking. I bake them at 475° for 12 minutes (less if they are to be simmered in sauce). Some of the frozen ones might end up in cardamom flavored white sauce or in some other arrangement.


~~louise~~ said...

This is too funny! Not only did I make a huge pot of sauce, and lots of stock this week, I also made tons of meatballs too!!!

I've never bough ready made meatballs but Marion swears by them so I figured I'd better get some in the freezer before she brings them home from the supermarket, lol...

Thanks for sharing, Mae. Cheers! (now when we sit down to a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, I will think of you and yours:)

Jeanie said...

Your meat balls look tremendous. Glad to know some tips on cooking and freezing. I'm always a little dicey on that!

~~louise~~ said...

Of course the first thing I notice in my comment is that I spelled bought wrong but, I actually remember this post Mae and it will be great for Meatball Day!!!

P.S. I'm hanging onto that other link too:)