I’ve been quite busy lately. Big changes are coming to my little corner of the internet! These changes are, for the moment, mostly behind-the-scenes. There have been some pretty big changes in my life recently, and they are greatly influencing the direction this website will be taking in the (very) near future. Positive and authentic changes, I hope! Possibly including fun stuff from my new life out on the ranch! Stay tuned
Meanwhile…back to the food.
My youngest son ADORES meatballs. Consequently, I’ve made many many meatballs in the past few years. From giant-sized ones to mini appetizer ones. From simple recipes to recipes that utilized a time-consuming and seasoned panade. Fried, baked, slow-cooker ones. Italian seasoned, sweet meatballs, spicy meatballs, classic meatballs, cumin meatballs, meatball sandwiches, meatball soups, meatballs and spaghetti, overcooked meatballs, and falling-apart meatballs.
And then came these ones. The recipe is basically a fusion of many of my tests and trials and successes. I was trying to pluck what I liked out of all the ones I had ever made, while making them gluten free of course.
Note: This recipe contains certified gluten free oats. Even though some oats are certified gluten free, some would-be meatball-eaters with gluten allergies and sensitivities cannot tolerate the grain. Oats do not technically have gluten, but often contain it due to contamination while in the fields, or via transporting and processing. Also, some simply cannot tolerate even the gf kind. If this applies to you, you can try other alternatives. For instance, adding cooked rice to meatballs is great – and often called porcupine meatballs. They’re good! I think other grains would work as well – such as chia, or amaranth perhaps, but I haven’t experimented with those here. You can always leave the grain out, also.
My son calls these meatballs perfect. And so they must be.
First, the meatball-making photos.
Now, the recipe.
1 C gluten free oats
1/2 C milk
1/3 C ketchup
1/3 lb sausage, raw and broken into small pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 – 2 lbs ground beef
2/3 C gluten free flour
2 T oil for frying
1 1/2 pasta sauce (1/2 of a large jar)
1/4 C brown sugar
Heat oven to 350F. Combine first 5 ingredients. Let rest for 10 minutes. I did this once, completely by accident (Thanks, kids…). I’ve done it on purpose ever since. I’m not sure if the oats just love to soak up the wet ingredients, or what – but this step is vital, in my opinion. It makes magical things happen (Thanks, kids!).
Stir the salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic into the mixture.
Crumble beef over mixture and mix gently just until combined. Don’t over mix. It’s kinda like meatloaf: overmixing -> dryness -> being mad at me. Please don’t do it.
Roll into small balls.
Place flour on a large plate. Dredge rolled meatballs in flour. Shake off excess.
Heat oil over medium heat.
Fry floured meatballs in small batches, browning sides.
The meatballs will not be cooked through at this point. They will have a nice crust though!
While they are browning, you can whip together the simple sauce. Combine the pasta sauce with the brown sugar. Mix well, and set aside.
Place browned meatballs in an 11×7 sized casserole dish. Slowly pour mixed sauce over the top of the meatballs.
Bake uncovered on the middle rack at 350F for about 30 minutes.
These are great to make up in bulk, and save in the freezer for a speedy meal. In the top photo, I served these Perfect Meatballs with delicious Spicy Black-Eyed Peas. I used baby flat leaf parsley for garnish. Can’t wait til the baby plants are full-grown!