Garden Fresh Meatballs


Today we’re making a whole lot of delicious meatballs – plenty for dinner tonight AND plenty for your freezer.  I like to smother trays of these meatballs with I Miss My Garden Sauce, shown above, and freeze for a day when I’m too busy to cook (it happens).  Just thaw, heat, and serve!

I’ve experimented with ground beef of varying fat contents, and I find that 85% lean makes the best meatballs.  You can use leaner ground beef if you wish, but when I’ve used, say, 93% lean, I feel like I am paying more only to end up with dry meatballs.  Feel free to try different types of ground beef; the decision is entirely up to you.

picture467Ingredients (makes 60 meatballs)

4 pounds ground beef, 85% lean

1 slice whole wheat bread, ground up into fresh crumbs

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 of a green pepper

1/2 of a yellow onion

3 sundried tomatoes

2 cloves garlic


Step 1) In a small blender or food processor, puree green pepper, onion, sundried tomatoes and garlic.

Step 2) Combine all ingredients, including puree, in a large bowl.  Mix with clean hands until all ingredients are incorporated into the ground beef.

picture470Step 3) Pinch off golf ball size pieces of ground beef mixture and roll into balls.  Place one inch apart on shallow baking pans (you’ll need at least two).  Cover with foil and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 4) After meatballs chill, you can finish them one of two ways:

Option 1, you can place a dozen or so in a picture472frying pan at a time, and cook them on the stovetop for approximately 10 minutes over low-medium heat.  You will need to shake the pan handle often to roll the meatballs around and prevent sticking.  This method makes nice, round, “company suitable” meatballs.  The disadvantage is that you need to work in small batches, which will take a while.

Option 2, you can bake your meatballs all at once in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  This method is faster and tastes exactly the same, but sometimes the bottoms of the meatballs have a slight, flat surface.  It’s up to you.  Either way, enjoy your dinner!

Looking for something a little fancier than meatballs?  OK.  Next time on Crowded Earth Kitchen, we’ll make Bolognese Sauce!

7 replies to “Garden Fresh Meatballs

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