Super Versatile Freezer Meatballs

Prep: 20 mins / Cook: 15 min / Total: 40 mins / Servings: 12

IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1/4 cup (56g)  butter, lard or bacon fat4004400000
1 small (110g)  onion, diced440110208
4 cloves (12g)  garlic, minced16004004
1 lb (454g)  cremini or button mushrooms, grated or chopped fine122.58013.6218.164.54013.62
2 small (148g)  red bell peppers, seeded and finely diced45.8801.488.882.9605.92
2 lbs (908g)  ground beef (80 lean/20 fat)2306.32181.6154.360000
1/2 lb (227g)  raw bacon, ground or very finely chopped1039.66102.1527.242.27002.27
4 large (200g)  whole eggs28620262002
1/4 cup (16g)  ground chia seeds (I used white)70537601
1/2 tsp (1g)  crushed red chili flakes (optional)3.18.17.12.57.2700.3
salt and pepper, to taste0000000
Totals:4333.62352.92g226.82g52.88g15.77g0g37.11g
Per Serving:361.1429.41g18.9g4.41g1.31g0g3.09g *

Method:

  1. In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt half of the fat (2 tbsp [30 mL]) over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and garlic, along with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir and cook until onion is translucent and the mixture is aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a small amount of salt and pepper. Stir and cook with the onions. This will release a lot of water and may look a bit soupy. This is fine. Continue cooking and allow the mushroom water to evaporate, about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the mushroom mixture starts to resemble a loose paste, add the bell peppers with a bit more salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. We just want to soften the bell peppers.
  5. Once the bell peppers are soft, spread the mixture evenly on a large plate or cookie tray. Spread it thin, so that it cools quickly. Place in the refrigerator, to cool. (It doesn’t need to be cold. If you touch it and it’s warm, this is fine. If it’s hot enough to cook the meat, give it a few more minutes. It shouldn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to cool)
  6. While the mushroom mixture cools, add ground beef, raw bacon and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Once the mushroom mixture cools to a warm temperature, add it to the bowl with the beef. Evenly sprinkle the ground chia over the top of the beef. Season with a small amount of chili flake (optional), salt and pepper.
  8. Mix the ingredients well, so that everything is evenly mixed and there are no lumps.
  9. I always use an ice cream scoop for the initial portioning of my meatballs. It keeps them consistent, while also helping to form the round shape. Portion each ball into roughly an ounce (28 g), each (Note: smaller meatballs are a bit easier to sear in a pan). Scoop them into the very plate or tray you used to cool the mushrooms. Then, roll them between your palms, until they are smooth and perfect little orbs.
  10. Heat a pan to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat to the pan and spread it around. Quickly spread a single sparse layer of meatballs around the bottom of the pan. The goal is to sear all sides to get a nice color and a bit of extra charisma in taste, but without overcooking the meatballs. We’re looking for a rare to medium-rare meatball. Toss the pan or move the meatballs around the pan to try and brown all sides. Once browned, place on a separate clean tray lined with parchment or wax paper. Add more raw meatballs to the pan and similarly brown. Once all the meatballs are browned and on the clean tray, place the tray in the refrigerator to chill.
  11. Once the meatballs are completely chilled through... portion, vacuum pack, and freeze them. Or, place the uncovered tray in the coldest spot in the freezer and allow the meatballs to freeze. Once frozen solid, place in a labeled plastic zipper bag. Squeeze or suck out as much air as possible, then freeze for a later date.
  12. When ready to use, place in the refrigerator the day before. Or, submerge the airtight bag in a pool of cool water. Once they’re defrosted, cook them up! You can bake them in an oven and serve with sauce, or cook IN the sauce, or within a soup base. Cook to desired doneness and enjoy!