Grain-Free Meatballs

by Meg Cotner on December 19, 2011

meatballs ready to eat

Lately, I’ve gone to a number of meetups with the Traditional Community Kitchen. This is an official Meetup group based in NYC, and one that I help organize (I’m a Co-Organizer and to some extent the Social Media Manager). It’s been one of the most fun social groups I’ve been a part of in NYC, and I’ve met some delightful people there that have become friends. Everyone is really friendly and eager to both teach what they know and learn from each other.

If you are in the NYC area, and interested in cooking together – whether your orientation is WAPF, paleo/primal, grain- or gluten-free, vegetarian, or simply an overall curious person looking for more inspiration to eat whole, real food – I highly recommend joining this group and coming to one of our meetups!

So, one of the most recent meetups was actually a repeat event – making a big pot of meatballs. This recipe was originally developed by Hannah Springer here in NYC, and she shared it with one of our meetup members, who passed it on to the rest of us. We’ve all really enjoyed the resulting delicious savory meatballs (which I like to make on the smaller side), enough so to make them together again.

They are different from any other recipe I’ve seen for meatballs, in that they are free of grains. Essentially, they are all meat, with the addition of egg, cream, and a few other things. I’m not personally avoiding grains, but for those omnivores that are, this is a great recipe

I remember the first event – which took place at my home – to be really fun. This second event was a lot of fun, too, and held at another member’s home.  The four of us chopped onions and I was glad to talk about my favorite way of chopping onions, which I’m happy to say sped up the chopping process – chopping onions can be a painful experience, so getting through them as fast as possible is a real benefit.

We then mixed those onions with spices and some pastured lard, and fried ’em up. You can only imagine how wonderful the house started to smell while this was going on.

onions cooked with fat and herb-spice mix

We added this to a pot full of pastured beef, pork, and eggs. This time we left out the cream, since one of the participants is avoiding dairy these days. Frankly, I think I prefer the meatballs without the cream.  We mixed everything together and had a big pot full of amazing meatball meat.

meatball mixture

We weighed it out and took home at least a pound each. I cooked them that night – fried in fat I kept from the pork shoulder I cooked the weekend before – and they were seriously delicious. My boyfriend totally loved them, and is looking forward to the next time I make them. I served them with a roasted tomato sauce I made last summer, that I had frozen. I just defrosted it in a small pot on the stove, and that made for a really delicious and quick meal.

I look forward to putting these meatballs into the regular rotation! More photos of our meetup can be found on my Mass Meatball Manufacturing photoset on flickr.

meatballs with roasted tomato sauce

This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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Zakrah December 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Hiya Meg — So don’t keep us in suspense, what is your favorite onion-chopping method that saves so much time?

Thanks much for a fun blog. It’s always interesting to read, my only suggestion would be to lose that tweet tally which follows down the page blocking text and images (very annoying).

Have a great holiday season Meg, and an enjoyable 2012 ! — Zak


Shar @ Feed Them Real Food December 21, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Saw your post over at Real Food Wednesdays and as a big meatball fan I had to check it out. These look great!

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