food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
In which 251 beef, pork, turkey meatballs are bagged for the freezer
Early this month I spent part of a day grinding a large piece of beef, a loin of pork, with added ground turkey for a BIG batch of meatballs! We love them for adding to pasta sauce and for sub sandwiches. I pack six balls to a small sandwich bag and then pack them in a large freezer storage bag. We will have meatballs for many months! I did a cost out for this batch; 251 meatballs > 25,72 pounds of meat > cost $52 for the ingredients = cost me about $2.70 a doz. Pretty good, eh? Certainly worth the work to my mind.
I saute finely minced onion, celery, and garlic in olive oil and add the mixture to fine breadcrumbs made of our homemade bread. I use rubber gloves to mix the breadcrumbs and the meat together thoroughly. With very loud rock and roll driving the action I roll meatballs to freeze on cookie sheets. Each layer of meatballs is covered with a layer of plastic wrap and by the end it makes a neat pyramid and is ready to be well wrapped in more plastic and put in the freezer. It takes a few days to firmly freeze them all.
Packaged and labeled I can now look forward to many a spontaneous whipped up meal! And I do not fry the meatballs or cook them before adding them to the pasta sauce. I saute some chopped onion and garlic in some olive oil, throw in a jar or two of home canned tomatoes, submerge a branch of rosemary tied with oregano and thyme, and cook it all down for 20 minutes or so. I then remove the herb bundle and with my immersion blender I puree the sauce. Its then I add a shot of wine – if I have it – and the meatballs and return the herb bundle as well. The whole pot simmers along till I’m ready to cook the pasta.