The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Make-Ahead Meatballs (with Optional Cream Gravy)

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Level: Easy

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Description

Over the years I’ve figured out a few ways to have a home-cooked meal without a big investment in time for each meal. One of the best ways is to make some meal starters ahead of time by creating big batch recipes that make enough for today and then freezing portions for stress-free home cooked meals at a later time.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATBALLS:
  • 3 pounds Lean Hamburger (sometimes I Substitute Ground Pork For One Pound)
  • 1 cup Quick Oatmeal
  • 1 can (12 Oz. Size) Evaporated Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs, Beaten
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Onion
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped Parsley (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • FOR THE CREAM GRAVY:
  • 2 Tablespoons Pan Drippings Or Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 2 cups Beef (or Chicken) Stock Or Broth
  • ¼ cups Heavy Or Sour Cream

Preparation

For the meatballs: Place all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. I usually start with a fork and end up using my hands. Be gentle and mix only until all ingredients are incorporated. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls.

Place the desired number of meatballs into a heavy skillet and add about 1/4 inch of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes (20-30 minutes if frozen).

Using a spatula, check the meatballs to see if they are browning underneath. If so, turn the meatballs carefully and allow them to continue cooking without the lid until the water has evaporated. The meatballs should be done, but if you are unsure, open up one to check (there should be no pink inside). Remove meatballs from skillet.

I use the drippings to make the cream gravy, but if you are topping meatballs with marinara sauce or barbecue sauce you may wish to drain the drippings. Add desired sauce or gravy. Return meatballs to the pan and heat through. Serve immediately.

To freeze meatballs: Place the uncooked meatballs on a tray lined with plastic wrap. Place in freezer until frozen. Put frozen meatballs into freezer bags and seal. Use within 3 months.

For the cream gravy (makes enough for 1/3 of the meatballs; triple the listed gravy ingredient amounts if you want to have gravy for the entire batch of meatballs): Drain extra drippings so you have only the listed amount in the skillet. Heat drippings/butter in the skillet until melted. Add flour and stir until combined. Gradually add beef or chicken stock. Heat until thickened. Add heavy cream or sour cream and stir together. Add meatballs and heat through. Serve immediately.

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