The Christmas season is upon us, and that means holiday Potluck parties. Of course I am always expected to bring a beefy dish to share, being a cattle rancher. My absolute favourite crowd pleaser at Potlucks is beefy meatballs. They are so versatile, you can change their entire flavour by switching up the sauce, and they go with everything! Possibly the best part about meatballs is how easy they are to make ahead in big batches to freeze and pull out when needed.
While the sauce possibilities are endless, two of my favourites are Sweet and Sour, and Creamy Mushroom sauce. I will share them in a future post, but for those of you who are often in a desperate rush (like I am tonight), pour a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup over a crockpot full of pre-made meatballs and voila- easy peezy dinner!
This recipe is Child, Rancher and Mom approved, a perfect trifecta!
- 8 lbs ground beef. No need for the more expensive lean ground beef – because there is no pork, the added fat in regular ground beef keeps the meatballs juicy and delicious.
- 1 onion finely diced and sauted in canola oil until translucent
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs. If you don’t happen to have Panko in your pantry, never fear, any kind of bread crumb works. If all else fails, finely crushed crackers or tortilla chips will work in a pinch.
- 6 eggs
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup Johnny’s garlic seasoning
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoning (both seasonings can be switched up according to taste.
- 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper
- Mix all ingredients in large bowl (I use my bread making bowl). If you are squeamish about mixing raw meat with your hands, use medical gloves.
- Roll into small meatballs. Make sure they are equal in size so they cook evenly.
- Spread meatballs out evenly on broiler pans. If needed, I also use cookie sheets covered in tin foil for easy clean-up. Just make sure it has sides to catch grease.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for approx 30 minutes. This will largely depend on the size of meatballs.
- Always cook ground beef dishes to a minimum internal temp of 160 Degrees F!!!
In the past, I always fried my meatballs, but once I discovered cooking them in the oven, I have never looked back! No splatter, no standing over a hot stove, and I found the meatballs actually kept a better round shape in the oven.
Once cooled, I freeze the meatballs in large ziplock freezer bags. I never know how large of a crowd I will be cooking for, so I love that I can take out as many (or little) as I need. Just pop them out of the freezer into a casserole dish (or crockpot), cover with the sauce of your choosing, and heat at 350F until hot and bubbly throughout.