Spring has arrived…tell that to the snow and the wind chill…..DON’T think they got the memo!
More comfort food is in order for the next month. Nothing like cooking up a batch of Potta-Balls. I also love having family and friends walk into the house with the aroma that is just so amazingly appetizing. This recipe will make a substantial amount of balls Eat some, freeze the rest. You can add them to soups, sandwiches, or just eat on their ownzie
Potta-Balls (also known as Meatballs with sauce
Yields 70 meatballs
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil or coconut oil (coconut oil does change flavor though)
1 small onion, diced finely
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 pound (110 g) lean ground beef
3 28-oz. (796-mL) tins crushed or diced tomatoes (In the summer I use tomatoes from my garden)
1 (900 ml) bottle tomato puree
3 – 4 5.5 oz (156 ml) tins tomato paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
4 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 lb. (450 g) ground beef
1 lb. (450 g) ground veal
(or 2 lb ground beef..omit veal)
1 lb. (450 g) ground pork
2 cups ‘cooked’ oatmeal (quick cook or large flakes – I use large flaked as they are not processed like quick cook flakes)
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
2 tbsp oregano (I prefer dry as the flavor is deep and flavorful)
2 tsp dry basil (optional) or 1/4 cup fresh and chopped
1.2 tsp rubbed sage (optional) or 4-6 fresh sage leaves chopped finely
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion, garlic and lean ground beef until cooked through, 5 minutes. Pour over the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in the honey and bay leaves, 1 tsp each basil and oregano, then add bottle tomato puree 1 1/2 cups (625 mL) water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, combine the ground beef, veal and pork in a large bowl. Add the COOKED and COOLED oatmeal to meat along with the eggs, cheese and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly. Rub your hands with a bit of oil, then roll pieces of the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) meatballs.
3. Put them on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to firm slightly. Add the meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and cook gently, without over stirring, partly covered, until soft and light, about 3 hours. Serve with pasta or spaghetti squash and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
These “balls” can be frozen and enjoyed with meals over the next month or two (that’s if you are cooking for two).
Use a different sauce if you like…teriyaki, sweet and sour, bbq…use your imagination. WARNING! If you do use a different sauce, omit half of the basil and half of the oregano in the meatballs mixture. They will affect the flavor of other sauces.
I truly hope you enjoy this recipe which is also a family favorite from my Gramma Lida’s authentic collection of self made recipes. My Aunt Gen passed the recipe on to me to share with one and all.
….what would Gramma Lida think of meatballs being mass produced and put into cans with precooked pasta and a funky kind of tomato flavored sauce for the shelves lining the grocery store? What about being produced and placed in boxes and kept in the freezer section of the same store?
Oh, and I could just imagine her rolling in her place of after-life-slumber if she new of all the ingredients, fillers and man made crap that is added to said meatballs! She would be Crazy-mortified!
Gramma, this one’s for you ❤
Thank you for teaching the family that food is all about the freshness of ingredients and the love you put into each and every meal!
NOTE: All photo’s are from Pinterest and are not the property of One Crazy Cook!