(from my old blog…)
As I think I mentioned in a previous post, on Sunday I went to visit my sister and her family, and my parents, while my husband taught some guys how to brew an all-grain batch of beer.
Saturday night I made these meatballs for them to have for lunch on Sunday. According to Bill, they were a huge hit. Here is what I did:
First, the meatball ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
1 14 oz pkg of "Gimme Lean" sausage flavor (it's a meat substitute. Found, at least in my area, with things like tofu and the like in that section of the grocery store. There's also a ground beef flavor, but I wanted the flavor of sausage in addition to the ground beef. The other reason I like this stuff is that unlike real meat, it doesn't lose moisture. When you cook ground beef and spoon off the fat, the meat has a tendancy to be tough. The Gimme Lean products don't have any fat, so they stay moist. We use the ground beef variety for tacos.)
1 medium onion, minced
About 3/4 cup bread crumbs
Enough milk to moisten the crumbs
Salt and pepper
And you will also need:
A 14 oz can of beef broth
2 cups of any red hot sauce you like
1 stick of unsalted butter
Shredded cheddar cheese
I think that's everything. I didn't write it down at the time…
Anyway, put all the meatball ingredients together in a big bowl and, with your hands, squish it all together til it's pretty well combined. Form into balls somewhere between ping pong and golf in size, then flatten slightly. (I was making them at night, and I wanted them to cook faster. You don't really have to flatten them if you don't want to.)
When they're all shaped, heat a skillet and brown the meatballs on both sides (or all sides, if not flattened) but don't worry about cooking through – they'll do that later.
Hold browned meatballs on another plate until all are browned. Put the browned meatballs back in the pan and add the can of beef broth. Cover and cook on low heat until the meatballs are cooked through. Shouldn't take very long.
In a separate pan, melt the butter and whisk in the red hot sauce. (* Must give credit here to Paula Deen, who has a show on the food network. This is the sauce from her recipe for Buffalo Wings, which are very good.)
Anyway, pour the sauce in with the meatballs, once they're cooked, and heat through.
Serve on rolls with shredded cheddar or crumbled blue cheese. Or, if you're making these ahead as I did, when the meatballs are cooked through, remove them from the pan to cool, and whisk the buffalo sauce into the remaining broth in the pan. When it's all cooled, put the meatballs and sauce into the crock pot insert, cover, and refrigerate.
I started the crock pot going the next morning around 7:00 and the guys ate lunch around noon or one, I think. And there were even a few left over for me!