Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bison Meatballs

I really need to stop buying ground meat just because it's on sale.  Cuts, sure, I can do something with those.  Ground meat just gets worked into some sauce until it doesn't matter what it was originally.

But, come on, 75% off a $9 package of an unusual meat?  It ended up cheaper than ground beef would have been, just because I had to use it the same day I bought it.  I do that anyway.

Bison is leaner than beef.  Look at a one-pound package of ground bison and one of lean ground beef.  It is considerably smaller.  So, I had to use filler.  Yes, I had some leftover bacon fat, but what's the point of buying lean meat just to add fat to it?  Out came bread crumbs.  And I did have some spaghetti and sauce lying around.  Fine, spaghetti and meatballs it is.

Another thing I've always wondered about is why you have to brown meatballs in a pan to cook them.  They never remain round, and tend to cook unevenly.  Would the world end if I simmered them instead?  It turns out, the answer is no.  They did not fall apart, and cooked evenly in the same amount of time it took to boil the spaghetti and warm the sauce.  I would say that you can use this method any time you do not care if the outside of the meatball is crispy.

1 lb ground bison
*1/3 C Italian bread crumbs
1/4 C milk
*1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove minced garlic
1 egg
1 can beef broth
1 bay leaf

1.  Soak bread crumbs in milk until they absorb all of it.  Add ground bison, egg, Italian seasoning, and garlic.  Knead thoroughly and let sit in refrigerator at least 15 minutes, for flavors to meld.

2.  Boil beef broth and two cups water in a pot with the bay leaf.  Reduce to a simmer.  Get out the meat mix and start making 1-1/2" balls.  I got 20 out of my batch.  Drop them in the simmering water.  When all are in the pot, add more water, if necessary, to cover.  Maintain at a simmer for 15 minutes.  I stirred them once, to make sure nothing was stuck to the bottom and they cooked evenly.

3.  Drain, discard bay leaf, and serve.

Difficulty rating  π

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