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Meatballs [Apr. 17th, 2010|08:46 pm]
[Current Mood |awake]

If this works, writing with the Rich-text editor, which lets me upsize the font so I can actually read without sticking my nose on the screen, I'll be a happy camper.  For awhile.  Because I need to ramble on about meatballs, the edible kind.  (Let's see now ....will it post just this little bit, and then let me edit and add to it?  Or not?)  (And hot diggety, it worked.  This time.)

So today I went looking for something else in the freezer and kept tossing the baggie of ground venison out of my way, could not find what I wanted, and finally decided, OK, venison, your time has come.   I had a pound of pork sausage I could mix with it (venison is really, really dry, esp. when shot after a drought year) and a little leftover ground beef, and a sack of bread crumbs, plus parsley in a pot on the front porch and an onion in the basket.  What more could a cook want?

Defrosting the !**! venison to take less than four hours, for one thing.  (I never did get it all defrosted.  A largeish lump is in the fridge.)   So then I started chopping onion and parsley, mixing in the pork sausage and the beef and the bread crumbs and all and at that point realized we were out of ketchup.  which I often use as the binder.   Hmmm.   The pork sausage was Owens "hot" so i didn't want to use Ro-tel (which I've done before and we didn't have any tomato juice or even tomato paste (yes, I know, I'm a bad storekeeper.)   But look--there--a bottle of barbecue sauce.  And a bottle of red wine (I cook with wine a lot; it convinces some people I know what I'm doing.  Nobody who saw that poor duck would think so, though.)  

Then it was "brown the meatballs" time.  There were a lot of meatballs.  Dozens of meatballs.  Several-many dozens of meatballs and they weren't teeny tiny meatballs, either.  I stood there making meatballs and browning meatballs and tossing the first ones in the Dutch oven with some pasta sauce to start heating up for supper and it got later...and later...and later...and finally I put the last of the meat/bread crumb/onion/parsley/etc. mix in a casserole and called it a baby meatloaf.  There's a big breadpan full of meatballs, which are going into a freezer bag and into the freezer for future needs.

The meatballs in sauce just got done.  I have a ton of dishes to wash.  I need to get up at six to leave at seven to go to church and sing two services...and I could lie down and go to sleep right here by the computer (but staring at piles of dirty dishes on Sunday morning is just not acceptable, unless I'm sick.

[User Picture]From: kengr
2010-04-18 01:57 am (UTC)
Silly question time... Why aren't you using Semagic or one of the other LJ clients. You write the post in the client, on your system. You can preview stuff. Then you tell the client to post things.

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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-04-18 04:06 am (UTC)
Basically because I'm a gnarly, difficult, stubborn old cow. I don't want to have to put special software on my computer to post to their system. They should design and maintain it to work seamlessly with the most common browsers. WordPress does (to give only one instance.)

I may end up having to do a "client" but it really irks me that it's desirable, let alone necessary.
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[User Picture]From: keristor
2010-04-18 08:28 am (UTC)
Er, if the font for typing a post is too small, why not just make the browser font larger when looking at that page? In Firefox that's Control+, I believe it may be the same in others. I have to use that all the time with web pages using small font. (Incidentally, your 'larger' font appears on my system as smaller than usual, possibly because it is setting an absolute font size which is smaller than my default font size.)
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[User Picture]From: blueeowyn
2010-04-19 04:10 pm (UTC)
In Internet Exploder holding the control key and scrolling the mouse wheel will up/down size all the text on a webpage in Windows.
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[User Picture]From: ysabetwordsmith
2010-04-18 03:01 am (UTC)

Mmm ...

Sounds tasty!

I enjoy cooking with venison when I have some. I've done venison spaghetti sauce, meatballs, a deerloaf wrapped in bacon, Bambi Stew, and deer-in-a-thicket (which is a handful of blackberries wrapped in ground venison loaf, covered in a layer of hot pork sausage).
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[User Picture]From: harfafnor
2010-04-18 03:12 am (UTC)
My mom makes her own meatballs as well, though she won't touch venison unfortunately. Ground beef is all she uses. I had some sausage links made this year from venison and pork, they made it a 50/50 mix. It's mighty good. I made some sausage and rice with some, it was delicious.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-04-18 04:22 am (UTC)
And I forgot the actual recipe. Sigh.

My mother used to mix 1/3 pork sausage (uncooked, like Owens) and 2/3 lean ground beef for meatloaf; I've found that with lean beef or venison you can go to more than 1/3 pork sausage (but don't have to) and with fatty ground beef (not recommended) you might want to cut back on the pork sausage. On TV I've seen someone mix ground beef and ground lamb.

I have a lazy woman's approach to both meatloaf and meatballs that starts with Pepperidge Farm herbed breadcrumbs. Yup. For three pounds of meat, the larger package is just right. This makes a LOT of meatballs. But of course you can make a small batch with 1 pound of lean ground meat (beef, buffalo, venison) and 1/3 pound of pork sausage. Dice an onion (or half onion--it's to taste. M- doesn't like the onion, R- likes a lot of onion, I'm in between.) You can dice some garlic, but tonight I was using a bottled pasta sauce with a lot of garlic in it, so I didn't. Fine-chop parsley and any other fresh herb you want in the mix; if you don't have fresh herbs, you can use a mix of dried herbs. Mix by hand in large bowl (I add the dry bread crumbs bit by bit) and moisten with ketchup, or tomato sauce, or barbecue sauce (these turned out fine!), or even V-8 juice (was desperate one night), and some red wine if you have it, until it's reasonably mushy. The dry bread crumbs will soak up the moisture. You do not need an egg. With the right amount of liquid, and browning (to a good rich brown) they will stay together. You do need at least a little onion and herbs. Basically, each meatball is like a tiny meatloaf. Form by rolling between your palms; the pressure you apply is what "glues" them. They can be any size from walnut to small egg, depending on your preferences but try to make them all the same size so they'll cook in the same time.

Brown in oil, bacon fat, or butter in a large frying pan in batches (only one layer at a time) and set aside the browned ones until you're done. They aren't fully cooked at this point and will need 15-20 minutes in simmering (bubbles) sauce before they're done. (Break one open to be sure the pork sausage isn't still pink.) As soon as they've cooled, the extras can go in a freezer bag and into the freezer for later. It's very handy to have some frozen meatballs...those and a couple of jars of good pasta sauce, some pasta, and the cheese you should have in reserve, and you're ready for company. (If you put up your own pasta sauce, that's even better, but of the two, I'd rather have homemade meatballs.)
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[User Picture]From: ajl_r
2010-04-18 09:39 am (UTC)
Such a useful stand-by, aren't they, and can be used in so many different ways. I've even used them as a pie filling, mixed with a selection of chopped and sweated leek/carrot/celery. And I sometimes as a teaspoonful of smoked paprika to the meatball mix, as an extra flavour dimension.

I hope the washing up didn't take to long and that you managed a reasonable amount of sleep. :)
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[User Picture]From: controuble
2010-04-18 12:18 pm (UTC)
I have found that when freezing multiples of just about anything that it's best to freeze them on trays/cookie sheets separately, THEN bag after frozen. That way I can pull one or a hundred as needed. I buy chicken leg quarters by the case, cook them, and freeze this way - instant meal-in-a-hurry. I make meatloaf in huge quantities (and, yes, I have also used V-8 in a pinch), have some for dinner, then cool the rest, slice, and freeze-then-bag.

I love venison - sure wish it was something I could buy at the butcher's.
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[User Picture]From: amm_me
2010-04-18 03:29 pm (UTC)
My mom's recipe, simple as simple — one pound ground beef, one chopped onion, one cup dry oatmeal, one can diced tomatoes. Used to have a teaspoon salt, but she left that out when her BP started up, and I do too. Might not hang together well enough for meatballs, I've never tried, but it makes a wonderful tender, juicy meatloaf, with all the natural flavors at their best.
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