Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tender Grass-Fed Beef & Pork Baked Meatballs

Tender Grass-Fed Beef & Pork Baked Meatballs |

I've hoarded this recipe for baked meatballs for awhile now, but I'm finally sharing. 

Seriously, guys. If you like meatballs, comfort food or heck, food in general, you have to try these. 

They're practically melt-in-your-mouth tender. 

And man-approved (if a guy in your life is a picky eater). 

I'm a slow eater, so while I was only halfway through with my meal, I saw my boyfriend sneak back into the kitchen several times to steal another meatball off the baking sheet. 

Semi-tangent: My BF claims he's NOT a picky eater cause he'll still eat almost anything I make even if he doesn't dig it, but he never reads my blog posts, so has no idea that I refer to him here as such. Hehe. 

And these meatballs were even better the next day when I piled the leftovers on some toasty bread with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese to form an Italian grinder.

[Update: It's been almost a year since I wrote this post and I wanted to add that my favorite way to use these meatballs in a meal (they're great for a snack) is to cover them with chunky marinara sauce and lots of shredded mozzarella cheese. It makes a wonderful low-carb meal that is plenty comforting.]

Tender Grass-Fed Beef & Pork Baked Meatballs
Super tender baked meatballs using half grass-fed ground beef, half ground pork, panko breadcrumbs, pastured egg, parmesan cheese and lots of spices. Great for making in large batches and freezing for quick meals later on. 
Yield: approximately 18 meatballs 

1/2 cup of seasoned panko breadcrumbs
     {seasonings for breadcrumbs, to taste: nutritional yeast, granulated garlic,     
      dried thyme, dried rosemary, cayenne pepper, sea salt & cracked black
2-3 tablespoons of whole milk (or sub your favorite milk)
1/2 pound of grass-fed ground beef
1/2 pound of ground pork (try to find antibiotic free, humanely raised if possible)
1 medium onion, diced finely
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 pastured egg
1 teaspoon of the following seasonings:
     nutritional yeast, granulated garlic. sea salt, cracked black pepperdried rosemary & dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of cooking oil (like genuine extra virgin olive oil or quality coconut oil)

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the meats out so they can warm up a bit before you mix everything. Portion the breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Add the seasonings I mentioned  above (or your favorite combination), to taste. I used a few pinches of each for mine. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of milk into the breadcrumbs, stir it around so the crumbs are all wet and let them sit for 5 minutes or more to moisten. 

Dice the onion, mince the garlic and grate the parmesan cheese. Combine all ingredients and seasonings into the bowl with the now moist panko breadcrumbs. Mix everything thoroughly (using your hands works the best), making sure to evenly incorporate everything. Line a baking sheet with foil, pour a teaspoon of your favorite cooking oil onto the foil and rub it all over. 

Using a measuring spoon or scoop, portion out the meat mixture into evenly sized balls and place them on the baking sheet. Mine were about the size of a tablespoon, which yielded about 18 meatballs. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Recommended Equipment
large rimmed baking sheet

Notes & Tips
I've made this with only beef before and it was still good, but combining it with pork makes the the meatballs SUPER tender and extra flavorful. I consider it the essential "secret" ingredient.

If you can, make a double batch and freeze the other half to use for pastas, sandwiches and soups on nights when you don't feel like cooking.

Don't have nutritional yeast on hand or have no idea what it is? It's typically used as a vegan substitute for cheese, but it's downright delicious (and healthy) so I use it to season lots of my savory dishes. Look for it in the bulk/dry goods section of your local health foods store or you can order it here.

More Beef Recipes from The Rising Spoon:

Question for Discussion: What's your favorite way to cook meatballs? 

Pin this recipe for later!
How to Make Super Tender Meatballs |

This post is linked to Butter Believer's Sunday School Blog Carnival.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. 

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