In her book, “The Way to Cook”, Julia Child writes that the otherwise unusable leftover scraps from the butcher’s block have given rise to some of our most lofty and delicious creations, like magnificent French pates, meat loaf and meat balls. A great meat loaf (or meatballs) can be made from any combination of beef, turkey, pork, veal, lamb, rabbit, or even venison.
“Your main concern,” Julia says about making meatloaf (or meatballs), “is that the it be carefully flavored, reasonably moist, and holds together.”
The recipe for Sausage Meatballs comes to me from my friend Tricia Small, an excellent island caterer and cook, who recently helped prepare 750 meatballs as part of our free, monthly community supper, Dinner is Served. Ground pork and pork sausage are combined with chopped onion, garlic, tomato sauce and herbs. To keep the recipe gluten free, I used ground rolled oats as a binder; fresh breadcrumbs would work well also.
Before shaping, Julia recommends that you check the seasoning of your meat blend. Cook up a small amount in a hot fry pan, let cool, and taste analytically. Correct the seasonings as necessary, exaggerating the flavors for the best results.
In our family, we really enjoy meatballs. They’re down-home comfort food. I’ll make a large batch and freeze them in packages by the dozen. A dish made with meatballs is quick and easy meal to prepare. Simply heat the meatballs in your favorite sauce, and serve over pasta, rice or mashed potato. Meatballs over grilled or toasted French bread make for a great meatball sub. For delicious cocktail fare, meatballs may be heated in a crockpot in either a spicy tomato sauce, or sweet and sour sauce. Now that’s my kind of “magnificent” food.
- 1 pound ground pork
- ½ pound pork sausage (flavor of your choice we like garlic)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup finely ground rolled oats or breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- ½ cup your favorite Pasta & Pizza Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Raye’s grainy mustard
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix together the Pasta & Pizza Sauce, herbs, and chopped veggies. Add the egg and oatmeal. Stir well. Add the ground meat and mix well. (Use the paddle on your electric mixer or by mix well by hand) Cook up a small amount in a hot fry pan and taste. Correct seasonings and portion into meatballs on a sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees until set and they give their water, about 10 – 15 minutes.
Pasta & Pizza Sauce over whole-wheat penne pasta.
Complete the meal with steamed broccoli & Maine applesauce. Another family favorite: Heat Sausage Meatballs in your favorite Pasta & Pizza Sauce and serve over toasted French bread for a Maine Meatball Sub!