The Art of Meatballs

meatballs
Basic Crockpot Meatballs

Meatballs:

Meatballs are a very versatile dish that can be a main course or an appetizer.  They can be made in various sizes out of any kind of ground meat or combination of ground meat.  You just add eggs, bread crumbs and spices.  To make it gluten free, try oatmeal or rice to hold them together better.  Seasoning meatballs is only limited to what you have in your spice rack. There are Italian meatballs, Curry  Meatballs and even Ham Balls.  They are great to slow cook and come home to at the end of a busy day.  Just boil up some pasta or rice and dinner is ready.  With the following recipes, I use half the meatballs at a time and freeze the other half for another meal because there are only two of us to eat most of the time.

*I didn’t include Swedish meatballs in this, because I don’t care for them;  therefore, have never been inclined to make them.

meatballs parchment
Using parchment ensures meatballs won’t stick to the pan and fall apart when you remove them.

BASIC MEATBALLS:

2 pounds of ground meat

1 egg

1 c. bread crumbs, (rice or oatmeal for gluten free)

1 sm FINELY chopped onion

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

2-4 tsp seasoning (depending on meatballs)

4 cloves pressed garlic (or to taste)

Mix and match any kind of ground meat to create your meatball specialties; beef, pork, ham, sausage, chicken, turkey or even venison and buffalo.  Change up the spice or even add different vegetables to the sauces to enhance the flavor you’re going for.  Let’s start with the most popular Italian Meatballs.


meatballs fettuccine
The basic meatballs with fettuccine.

Italian Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

1 pound hot Italian Sausage (ground)

1 c. bread crumbs (or oatmeal for gluten free)

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp basil

4 pressed cloves garlic

1/2 tsp rosemary

Mix ingredients very well. Form into balls and set on a cookie sheet covered with baking parchment. Depending on the size, bake 15-30 minutes at 350.

Put them in a crock pot with your favorite spaghetti sauce and slow cook. Serve with favorite pasta.


Curry meatballs
Chicken meatballs cooked in curry sauce are a nice change.

EASY CURRY MEATBALLS:

2 lbs ground chicken

1 egg

1 c. bread krumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp ground clove

4 pressed garlic

1/2 tsp ground ginger

Mix ingredients very well. Form into balls and set on a cookie sheet covered with baking parchment. Depending on the size, bake 15-30 minutes at 350.

Put them in a crock pot with curry sauce and slow cook.

Curry Sauce:

2 c. Chicken Broth

1/2 c. chopped tomatoes

3 whole cloves

5 cardamom pods

1 tsp fresh crushed ginger root

1/2 tsp cumin

1 cinnamon stick

4 bay leaves

2 tsp curry powder

4 green chili peppers, halved

2 sliced carrots 

1 c. frozen green beans

a few fresh mushrooms

salt to taste

Put sauce ingredients in a crock pot.  Add cooked meat.  Simmer on slow all day.

Serve over rice.  Tip: for better flavor, add a couple of chicken wings or legs at the start.


smoky ham balls
Ham Balls have a very unique flavor and do best on their own, like little smokies.

Smoky Ham Balls

1 lb ground Ham

1 egg

1/2 pound ground sausage

1/2 pound ground beef

1 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. crushed pineapple

1/2 tsp ground clove

smoky meatballs
Applewood Liquid smoke adds interesting flavor to many things.

And as usual, salt to taste.  In nearly all of my recipes, I use half the salt because I just got used to it years ago.  Most people like more salt than I do, but I figure they can always add it when they eat it if they want more.

Mix ingredients very well. Form into balls and set on a cookie sheet covered with baking parchment. Depending on the size, bake 15-30 minutes at 350.

Put them in a crock pot with your favorite smokey Bar B Q Sauce.  If your favorite sauce isn’t that smoky, you might try one of the Wright’s Liquid Smoke flavoring.  These are a sweet kind of meat, like a good ham. 

Great appetizer.



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