Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Beef, Bacon & Kale Meatballs



Photo by Stephanie Meyer

I’m a meatball fiend so I make these frequently, eating them as is, wrapped in lettuce leaves with good pickles, served as a party appetizer, and/or added to soups. (You know how I mentioned last week that I love crispy shrimp as a garnish for soup? Well, meatballs are a close second…I think you’ll like them too.) In addition to their undeniable deliciousness, meatballs can be made in big batches and frozen (reheat to your heart’s content for quick meals, snacks, and gatherings).

Adding a bit of chopped bacon to grass-fed ground beef is a nice way to keep meatballs (and burgers) from drying out (a trick I stole from chef Scott Pampuch years ago) with the bonus of a hint of smokiness. The kale and leeks add moisture too, as well as color and flavor, while the gelatin and starch add tenderness and act as binders (in lieu of bread and egg). I tend to just fry the meatballs, especially on a warm day, but if you’re making big batches, baking meatballs in the oven is a neat trick with tasty results.

We were so lucky to not have a rainy July 4th! I spent the day relaxing and celebrating with my sister Stacey. We decided to see a movie (Begin Again—I really enjoyed it) followed by an amazing dinner (oysters, langoustines, shrimp, arctic char) at the Sea Change raw bar, ending with a short stroll out onto the patio to catch the fireworks over the Mississippi River. It was a perfect day, fun and delicious and stunningly beautiful. I came home and slept like a rock. That’s what vacation is for: good food, fun with family, and lots of rest. I hope that you too found all three.

Beef, Bacon & Kale Meatballs

Serves 4

1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin (optional)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or tapioca starch or cornstarch)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon, diced finely
1 cup finely chopped kale leaves
1 leek, washed and minced
1 clove garlic, minced

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, gelatin, arrowroot starch, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grind of black pepper. Using your hands, mix gently. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until fat is rendered but bacon is not browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to cool (retaining pan drippings). Return skillet to the heat.

Add kale and leek to the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and saute until almost tender, 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to the ground beef (retain pan drippings; set pan aside). Add bacon to the ground beef and gently mix to combine. Roll mixture into 1-inch meatballs, setting on a baking sheet as you go.

Return skillet to the heat and fry the meatballs in the pan until browned on all sides. Serve hot, or cool to room temperature and freeze in plastic bags.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Drink of the Week: Ngon Bistro’s Oriflamme

A cocktail ideal for any occasion

Sour Cream Pancakes with Caramelized Apples Recipe

Weekends call for a sit-down breakfast you can linger over—but the cooking can still be easy.

A Literary Feast

MnMo editor Rachel Hutton and MRP’s John Birge talk foodie destinations for writers.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags


About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Home Cook Stephanie Meyer, Savvy Mom Kristin Boldon, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Sign up for our monthly dining e-blast:

MNMO Dish Sign-up

The Latest in MNMO

REVIEWS QUICK BITES
Best New Restaurants Mosaic
Icehouse Cool Primebar
Haute Hot Dogs Technique
Culinary Cloning Fika
Birdhouse Takes Flight Corner Table
Best Bars Left Handed Cook
Creative Cocktailing A Lotta Burrata


* Access all reviews here. 

restaurants Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Recent Posts

Archives

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Twin Cities Taste Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags