Saturday, December 1, 2012

Meatballs for Freezing

With the holidays in full swing, I wanted to post this recipe which is helpful as a quick dinner item or nice to have on hand for making appetizers for company or to take to the holiday parties.  The meatballs take very little time for the payback. Ideas for using them are listed after the recipe.

Meatballs for Freezing
4 lbs of ground beef
2 eggs
2 c. dry bread crumbs or rolled oats
1 onion, chopped very fine
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 c. milk

In a large bowl, with a strong wooden spoon, or using clean hands, mix all ingredients together until evenly combined.  Using a scoop or your hands, form meatballs about the size of a walnut and place on a baking sheets.  You can crowd on as many meatball as you can, they actually shrink a little as they bake. Bake meatballs in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 min. until browned.  Let meatballs cool.  Remove from pan with a spatula and transfer to large freezer bags in groups of about 20 meatballs.  I usually get about 4 bags. Squeeze out the air and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Use Meatballs:  You can thaw meatballs in the fridge or in the microwave.  They are ready to add to marinara for spaghetti, or for meatball sandwiches.  You can use them for Swedish meatballs or sweet and sour.  I like to add a package of meatballs to Mandarin Sauce and serve it over rice.  For appetizer meatballs, try one of these combinations in a crock pot:

My friend Emily buys a Smucker's Red Currant Jelly, empties the jar into the crock pot, fills the jar with yellow mustard, and dumps that in too.  Heat and stir to combine.  When the jelly is melted and everything is an even color, add meatballs and heat on low for an hour or two. Yum!

A similar method but different taste is accomplished by using equal parts grape jelly and barbecue sauce.

Notes:  Your meatballs will look much better than mine because you will pay attention to what you are doing and chop your onions very fine.... :) Don't stress about any grease that accumulates in the bottom of your pan, you are going to lift the meatballs out of that.  You can use lean ground beef if you like.

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