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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Easy Meatballs

Meatballs are an easy item to make ahead and keep in the freezer for quick meals.  There are so many easy ways to fix a meal with them:  spaghetti & meatballs, Swedish Meatballs with noodles, Barbecue, sweet & sour with rice!  So many tummy pleasing things to do with a meatball!  

The first time I made meatballs I thought they were just TOO time consuming.  Mixing all the ingredients, rolling the mixture into balls, turning them in the frying pan until they were done.  Too much time tending them.  BUT  now I have a few shortcuts so they're much easier!  
1.  I use a simple recipe with not too many ingredients 
2.  I use a cookie scoop (size 40) to make the balls rather than rolling them  
3. Instead of frying them in a pan & turning them, I put the balls on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven.  Just put them in and leave them until the timer goes off!  EASY!

This is a picture of the uncooked meatballs, don't you think they look just as good as if you'd rolled them by hand?!

Easy Meatballs

2 lbs. hamburger (I prefer 85/15 or MUCH leaner)
1/2-1 C. finely diced onion
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 T. beef bouillon
1 C. bread crumbs

Dump all of the above in to a medium sized bowl.  Be brave & just get in there with your bare hands and mush it around until it's well mixed.  I've tried using my Kitchen Aid to mix it, but it changes the texture and I didn't care for it.... enough that I'd rather get my hands all icky instead. :)   Spray a nice sized, sided cookie sheet  with cooking spray.  Use the cookie scoop, pressing the meat mixture against the side of the bowl to pack it, and drop onto the greased cookie sheet.  You can put them touching and all of this recipe should fit on one sheet.  Place meatballs into an oven heated to 350 degrees and bake 15-20 minutes.  Once they're done, cool, place in freezer bags in the amounts you'd like to use for a meal, label and freeze.

Joy's Notes:  You can leave out the beef bouillon if you'd like.  When we have beef in the freezer that we've raised ourselves, the hamburger is really low in fat - maybe 5%.  The flavor is much better as well.  When I buy hamburger at the store, I always add the bouillon - store purchased meat just doesn't have the flavor of a pasture fed Hereford.   ALSO sometimes I add finely shredded carrot or potato.  The flavor is wonderful - it just adds a little more work.  It is just as easy to do a double batch of these!

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