Perhaps there is a more eloquent way to say it, but Shalon perfectly describes the flavor of the meatballs she entered in the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest with this quote: “They satisfy my mmm, goodness requirement.”
It’s true. “Mmm” is likely to be the first thing out of your mouth when you take a bite, thanks to a flavorful combination of ground beef (or bison) and sweet Italian sausage. Italian sausage is traditionally made from pork but chicken and turkey varieties are also out there. Fennel seed, which has a slightly sweet and very faint licorice-like flavor is the distinguishing characteristics of sweet Italian sausage. The Italian sausage perfectly matches other ingredients in the meatballs like fresh herbs, garlic and red pepper flakes. You can dip the meatballs in ketchup or mustard if you want, but with so much satisfying flavor packed into them you’ll be completely satisfied eating the meatballs unadorned.
Meatballs are easy to pack for lunch. You can also do what Shalon does and keep your freezer well-stocked; whenever hunger hits, defrost a few for a convenient protein-packed snack.
Makes 20 large or 30 medium meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef (or bison)
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
- 1 long sprig fresh oregano, minced
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- A few grinds black pepper
- 1/4 cup cream (optional)
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan (optional)
- 1/4 cup bacon fat
Remove the Italian sausage from its casing.
Mix all of the ingredients, except bacon fat, together until well combined.
With lightly oiled hands, roll the meatballs into the desired size.
To cook, heat bacon fat in a saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the meatballs. Fry 5-7 minutes, until bottom is browned.
Turn meatballs to opposite side and fry until that side is nicely browned, another 5-7 minutes. Cut one open to determine if it is fully cooked on the inside. If not quite done, turn heat to low and cover pan for a few more minutes or put meatballs in a warm oven while you fry another batch.
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