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    Heth's Avatar
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    Meatballs questions

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    Hi all,

    I'm quite new to this meat cooking business but am wanting to branch out and try some meatballs. I've found a few primal-friendly recipes but I'm not really good at following recipes! So, do I need to use eggs? Will they stick together without? And does this depend on the type of mince used? I have some lamb mince (not lean) in the freezer I'd like to try. I thought I would like to just try using some mashed pumpkin, lamb mince and herbs and see if that works. But I didn't know if egg added to this would be too moist, or if it would actually help it stick together. Some recipes also add oil. Again, is this necessary? Also, I've seen recipes that involve cooking the balls in the oven then pouring the sauce over the top, and others where you cook the balls in the sauce with a lid on, I guess they sort of steam this way. Do they tend to fall apart if you cook them in the sauce?

    Any meatball experts out there?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hedonist2's Avatar
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    I have rarely cooked meatballs. I'd say to experiment. If they fall apart, they still taste good.
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    Heth's Avatar
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    Haha yes of course they would! Good thinking!

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    I view meatballs as mini meatloaf, and use eggs, around one per half kilo of meat. I do masses of them at once, bake them in the oven, and freeze them. I like to make a base out of ground beef or pork or lamb, use egg to keep it together, salt and pepper. From there I'll split it into smaller batches and add different things. Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, garlic, onion, mushrooms, Montreal steak spice, all different kinds that I fancy making. Bake, cool, taste test, freeze in labelled baggies.

    Mmmmmmmm. Now I want meatballs!
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    I make meatballs like this:

    Cold meat
    Add garlic, chilli, herbs and spices
    Add some finely chopped onion if you like - I tend not to

    Mix together by squeezing the meat through your fists. The result should be a sausage meat like texture.
    Form meatballs, brown off in a skillet and set in the over for a further 15-20 minutes, depending upon size.

    Eat and enjoy.

    I've never found the need to use binding agents - add an egg if you like the flavour; it won't harm the mix, nor is it necessary.

    I make meatballs a lot - beef, lamb, pork, even turkey. With turkey, you can flatten small meatballs, roll in coconut flour and make a good version of nuggets.

    Have fun!

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    I use eggs occasionally in my meatballs. It adds a nice flavor, but it's not required.

    Sometimes I'll put some vegetables in a blender, then add them to the meat. I don't like the taste of most vegetables, so this is a good way to get them into my diet.
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    Seconded to all the advice. OP, adding pumpkin to meatballs is well, kinda weird. It might taste great, and maybe you're onto something, but if you are a beginner cook who doesn't know how to cook a basic meatball, I'd stick to the advice above for now and eat the meatballs over the pumpkin.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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    Heth's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. I might try holding off on the egg because I'm only going to try with a small batch and a whole egg might be a bit too much moisture. I'm also going to hold off on the pumpkin for now (I just thought I'd do that because I saw a recipe with grated carrot). So just lamb mince, garlic and thyme, rolled into little balls, then browned in a pan in some coconut oil then baked. Sounds amazing and so simple! If they turn out well, which I think they will, I might make a big batch to freeze.

    It feels pretty strange to be learning how to cook meat dishes. I did 1.5 years of a chef apprenticeship but stuck to learning mostly vegetarian cooking and forgot pretty much everything I learned about cooking animal products, through not using the skills and information. I even had to ask someone how to boil an egg recently! But the things I've made have turned out well, like I made a primal cottage pie, which I dreamed up and it was great!

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    Heth's Avatar
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    I made them and they turned out great, except that there was so much fat and moisture pouring out of them onto the baking tray. I think with a less fatty meat than lamb they would be even better.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heth View Post
    I made them and they turned out great, except that there was so much fat and moisture pouring out of them onto the baking tray. I think with a less fatty meat than lamb they would be even better.
    I have always had this if I bake the meatballs - and it makes them a bit dry too. I much prefer to fry them in lard, on quite a high heat, until brown / cooked through, and then transfer to a low oven to keep warm while I fry more. This way, they stay wonderfully moist and succulent.

    Love garlic and thyme with lamb, by the way. Also, ground cumin and little cayenne makes them sort of Middle Eastern - leaving out the thyme and adding green coriander (cilantro) is also good.

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