Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shitshow Kitchen: Meatloafballs

So, the reason I call these meatloafballs? They are basically my meatloaf, pared down to bite-sized. You could totally make these into loaves (that word sounds so wrong paired with meat) or even brush them with ketchup five minutes before they're done to make mini-meatloaves that will get you laid. Or you can do what I did, and make the oldest of the old school sauces, using totally prepared ingredients.

I know. First boxed cake mix, now this. WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO, IT IS LIKE I AM SANDRA LEE

But seriously. The meatballs take a minute, not much more, since all you do is dump everything together and then throw it in the oven. The sauce takes less than a minute since it is just all about opening jars and cans. You can do this. Your friends will be amazed. Your romantic interests will become lovers. Your mother will APPROVE OF YOU!!! OK, maybe not that last one. But it was worth a shot.

You'll note soy sauce is not in the recipe. DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNN Spoiler alert...
3lbs. extra lean ground beef
4 slices bread, crumbed
3/4 C milk
3 eggs
2 mushrooms, chopped tiny
1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped tiny
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T dry mustard
Optional: 1 t tarragon, 1/4 t cumin, 1/2 t sage

OK! Here we go. Set your oven to 400. Throw everything in a bowl. Mix it together. Make balls. Cook them 20 minutes. VOILA!!

What, you want MORE steps? *Dramatic sigh* FINE. So meat in bowl first. Then make your bread slices into crumbs. I did not feel like taking out the food processor, so I just chopped it with a knife. It's better if the crumbs are smaller, but whatever. This is a shitshow anyway.
In no way small or uniform or crumbs
Throw the bread into the bowl with the meat and pour the milk over the crumbs. The goal is to get them to soak up the milk. Chop up your onion pretty small (you can grate or use a food processor if you want), and the mushrooms, too. The mushrooms, in case you were wondering, enhance the beef flavor. I didn't really cut mine that small because I was being lazy. But the smaller the better with this stuff. You can press the garlic (vastly preferable because it's vastly easier) or mince it.
All the things, pre-mix
Put everything in the bowl, all of it. I didn't have Worcestershire sauce, which is ESSENTIAL to get the best flavor, so I subbed in like half the amount in soy sauce. We shall see if that ruins all the things (This turned out OK, but it may have been missing that special something. Who am I kidding, they were still fabulous).
Meat mix, AKA Adult Play-doh
Ok, so I also was thinking, hey, I wonder how many meatballs this will make. Because mostly I just threw this stuff together. trying to approximate measurements as it went into the bowl. The spices were literally the first three jars I grabbed that sounded good. Other than the mustard, which is essential.
Various sizes. Charlie kept trying to make tiny ones "for the cat."
In the end? I had to jerry-rig my meatball pans because I had ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN of them.
You will be glad you made 137 when you are down to the last 3
This is good, though, because the mickey mousing led me to realize that you really want to bake these things on racks if at all possible.
We were baked on racks. We are perfect and brown.
Otherwise they kind of stew in their own juices and get all soft and not really like the brown you want.
We are anemic and nasty-looking, and need some makeup badly
So I had to throw the ones from the bottom of the pan back in on the racks for a few minutes to get them nice.

HOLY GOD THESE ARE SO GOOD. So like I said, you can do the ketchup-brushing in the last five minutes, or just douse them in ketchup out of the oven, because they taste exactly like meatloaf-- OR. OR you can make a sauce for them.

Sauce: One from each side, or a mix of all of them.
I used all of them, mixed together. Whole bottle chili sauce, whole cranberry sauce, whole jelly, about 1/2 a bottle of BBQ sauce. Just throw 'em in a bowl, mix 'em up, and toss into a crock pot.
This looks so nasty. But it melds into a beautiful sauce that everyone at your Superbowl Party will love.
Put the meatballs in, then mix it all up, kinda carefully, with a spatula. Turn it to high for about an hour, maybe two. Or low for three hours. Stir it a couple times if you're around. Otherwise, stir it up a few times before serving. The various sauces will melt into eachother and soak into the meatballs a little and NOM.
Eff. Yes.
Everyone loves you AGAIN!! Didn't you just make that awesome WIIINES Cake? And those tasty little tomatoes? Man. You are on a ROLL.
Check it. I wanted to take more pictures but I forgot because I was busy eating and then they were GONE.


  1. If you're really lazy, you could use pre-made frozen meatballs. I didn't even think of that.

  2. *is really lazy*

    It would be so much easier if I just lived next door to you.

  3. I was going to cook something boring today but this post has convinced me to do CRAB CAKES! Not sure exactly how. I was reading along after making plans to cook a pork chop and the sight of those delicious balls of flavor must have turned my brain on to it.

  4. OMG I LOVE CRAB CAKES. You should post pictures somewhere.

    I am jealous of your proximity to ocean food.

  5. The chili sauce and grape jelly is how I make meatballs(frozen ones) in the crock pot! My step-dad told me what was in them the first time and I was like 'NO WAY' but they are AMAZEABALLS! I totally want to try this though with the sauce and see how much better they are than the frozen ones.

  6. Those look really good! Chili sauce and grape jelly sounds intriguing.
    It would be the sort of thing where I could not let the Husband know what is in it or he would not try it.


  7. Yeah, I just tell people it is "my secret recipe" and they eat it up. Literally. The first time I made it, I made the sauce separately because I didn't want to ruin my meatballs if it was gross. BUT IT IS SO GOOD.

  8. These look yummy. Paula Deen just tweeted a recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf. It looks heavenly!

  9. Ignore the fact that I'm commenting on this months afterwards but I just thought you should know, in case you don't already, that a jar of grape jelly and a bottle of barbecue sauce tossed in a crockpot with a bunch of little smokies is also freaking amazeballs. I prefer to cook mine until the skins start to get really dark and then just eat them until I can't eat any more.


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