Monday, November 8, 2010

Meatball Monday #1

I've learned something fairly important.  The hamburger that we got from the rancher, the local cow from Battle Ground, is so much better that I can't even think to go back to hamburger from the grocery store.  I didn't know that the quality would be so much different.  I mean hamburger.  Really?  But this is leaner and just noticeably nicer.  The texture is smoother.  It cooks out so crumbly with a little bit of crunchies.  Just better.  Makes me wonder what we've been eating.  

What I didn't get was enough steak.  What I got too much of was big roasts.  I'll be doing this differently next time.  It may take a couple times to figure out exactly what we like the best.  The rancher who we got it from said that they sometimes have what she called a hamburger cow.  By that she means a cow that just all goes to hamburger.  I can feel more experimenting coming on.

It is handy to have some meatballs premade in the freezer.  They can turn into spaghetti, sandwiches, Swedish meatballs and many other things.  The premade meatballs you find in the freezer section of your grocery are much fatter.  And much less really flavor.  And much less wholesome.

Basic Meatballs
1 lb lean ground Beef
1 egg
1/2 c. quick oats or bread crumbs
1/4 finely chopped onion or shallot or 1 T. dry minced onion 
1 or 2 large cloves of garlic minced
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. each of salt and pepper. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Add all ingredients and mix to combine.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not ashamed to enjoy this part.  Your hands are your best tool.  Remember I said that. 
I like small meatballs.  Easier for the kiddos to eat.  Easier for the ladies watching their figure to pick out the number they think they should have.  Makes nice appetizers.  Swedish meatballs with a toothpick as an appetizer.  Good for the holidays.  Just saying. 

Bake about 10 minutes.  The time may vary depending upon how big you make them and the meat itself.  If you've got doubts, break one open to make sure the pink is gone. 

I sometimes turn them over half way between baking, but it isn't required.  Just makes the brown on both sides.  When done, put them on a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.  Freeze them in a zip lock bag until you need them or use them immediately.  Food made simple. 

Remember to plan ahead.


  1. I have heard of "hamburger cows" before, but I would love the large roasts, sign me up!

  2. Melynda, I'll e-mail you the rancher's contact information and some input. We loved the rancher who produced the cow, but not the butcher she used. I'm sold on the process. Better meat at a really good price.

  3. I would encourage you to try Buffalo (Bison) hamburger. It is lower in fat, taste terrific, and is better for the environment. You want to cook it one level rarer than beef, e.g. Medium- Rare if you cook your beef hamburger Medium. I made a great hit with Vel when I used Buffalo hamburger in Meatloaf.