Since we had our sweet baby boy, Corey, I’ve been struggling to find the time to cook. I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman and knew it was meant for busy folks like myself! Both the meatballs and the sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen! Just thaw them overnight in the fridge and reheat before serving.
Basically you make one giganto batch of meatballs that can be used in different recipes. The meatballs can be thrown in the freezer and pulled out based on your portion needs. You just throw the frozen meatballs in whatever sauce you choose, and voila – dinner! I chose Swedish Meatballs because they’re so delish and simple. Some other sauces she suggests for the meatballs can be found here: BBQ Meatballs, Arrabiata Meatballs, and Sweet & Sour Meatballs.
I tweaked her recipe a bit because my meatballs weren’t cooked by just browning alone. I tossed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and threw them in the oven to finish the cooking. I also didn’t have egg noodles (hey, I’m lucky I showered today), so I just used rice instead.
I’ve never made anything of hers that I didn’t absolutely love. Her recipes are perfectly seasoned, portioned, and explained.
Just. Love. Her.
All Purpose Meatballs
1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tbs. grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
4 large eggs
5 pounds ground beef (90/10)
¼ cup olive oil
To make the meatballs, combine the breadcrumbs, milk, cream, parsley, mustard, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add in the ground beef, and mix together well with your hands. Scoop out 1 tbs. portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Place the meatballs onto parchment-lined baking sheets and put the baking sheets in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes for the meatballs to firm up.
To brown the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Cook, turning the meatballs to make sure they brown all over, 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. If still not cooked, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 325 for about 8-10 minutes.
Freezer instructions: Put the cooked meatballs in a single layer on baking sheets and put into the freezer. When frozen, divide them into freezer bags, and return them to the freezer.
¼ cup grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ cups beef stock, divided (2 cups + ½ cup)
Pinch ground allspice
2 tbs. cornstarch (plus more to thicken)
1/3 cup heavy cream
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the mustard, Worcestershire and 2 cups of the beef stock. Bring to a boil, then add the allspice.
Make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch into the remaining ½ cup stock, whisking to get out all the lumps. Whisk the slurry into the skillet and when the mixture staråts to boil again, slowly add the cream, whisking constantly*. Add the meatballs, cover and cook until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are heated through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve over egg noodles drizzled with olive oil and garnish with fresh parsley.
*If the sauce is not thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, take out about 1/4 cup of the liquid in a glass measuring cup. Add 1 tbs. cornstarch, stirring to combine until no lumps remain. Add back to the sauce, stir, and let cook for 1 minute. If the sauce is still not thick enough, repeat the process.