I love meatballs. In fact, I love ground beef. I have a friend who hates ground beef, having grown up with in a family of eleven, where ground beef was served too often. Such a shame, for in our family ground beef either meant meatloaf or meatballs and both are glorious comfort foods in my childhood memories.
I can’t eat either of these from other places, because once I tasted my family’s meatballs, I was ruined.
The Right Way to Make Paleo Meatballls
While there is nothing difficult about making meatballs, it’s easier to get them wrong than right. Firstly, a meatball should be tender, not a hard ball. The flavors should be balanced. One shouldn’t bite into a meatball and get a mouth full of filler and garlic. A meatball should be about the meat. I also added pork for flavor and fat.
It must be loosely packed, seasoned well, but not overpowering. I always use 85% lean meat, which still has plenty of fat in it, which mostly bakes off in the oven, where I bake them to medium rare and then place them in the tomato sauce.
Usually, I add a little bread to my meatballs, but today, I made them for those of you out there eating a grain free, Paleo friendly diet. I
I’m eating Paleo friendly food a lot lately, which means grains are out and pasta is nowhere to be seen, at least for a while. I’m a 80/20 eater, which means at two out of ten days a month, I’m probably eating pasta or quinoa, but for right now, I’m grain free, and feeling better eating this way.
No one can really take the bread or pasta away from an Italian permanently, but it’s better for me to at least cut back. I’m almost sounding apologetic and in some ways I am.
When I ate my pasta and bread in Italy, I had no dietary problems or weight issues. It’s here in the states, where I’m bombarded by everything carb and junkie that I lose my resolve, and then need to quickly do something.
Remember, I LOVE FOOD. Yes, I do. I’m not that person who can eat 1/4 of the cheeseburger, nor can I eat just one meatball.
The smell of meatballs cooking inside of tomato sauce makes me think all’s right with the world, and just because I’m grain free doesn’t mean comfort food is out. I made these meatballs with premium ground beef, two kinds of cheeses, lots of parsley and fresh garlic.
They were baked in the oven and then placed in my homemade tomato sauce to simmer for a few hours.
Instead of spaghetti, I ate them with fresh spinach, but I think next time, I’ll try my melted kale. I still felt like I was eating comfort food, and when others around here ate spaghetti, I didn’t feel deprived eating these homemade Italian meatballs, paleo friendly and gluten free.
You may also like these gluten free chicken meatballs.
Since this post, I came up with a fantastic grain free dinner roll that works as a slider and I made these meatballs sliders.
Homemade Italian Meatballs, Paleo Friendly, Gluten Free
- 3 pounds grass fed beef
- 1 pound ground pork or more beef
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced
- sea salt
- Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce
- Pour milk over ground meat.
- season with salt and pepper
- Add remaining ingredients and very loosely, gently mix together. You don't want the meat to be compacted, as that will make the meatballs tough.
- Form into balls
- Place foil or parchment paper on baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until outsides seems browned.
- Place into tomato sauce to finish cooking for at least one hour.
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