Tuesday Tips: Meatballs

Happy day after Memorial Day, folks. I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and took some time out to remember the reason for the day beyond a chance to grill and be away from work! Though speaking of the grill…I’m going to move right into today’s Tuesday Tip. As promised last week we’re talking meatballs…and meat patties…and meat loaf…and whatever shaped meat product you want to apply things to.

There are many recipes out there for meat patties and mom’s meatloaf. Most will contain ingredients such as eggs, bread crumbs, vegetables and sometimes even textured proteins, all looking for a way to make meat stick together and hold the shape it’s given. Ultra Gel is a great way to do this without affecting flavor profiles or adding any gumminess or additional fat to the product. My general rule of thumb is 1 Tablespoon of Ultra Gel per pound of meat then I move forward with any add ins that I want for flavor or texture. As in last week’s discussion the addition of the Ultra Gel means the meat patty or meatball remains moist as the Ultra Gel clings to the water when the product is cooking and lets the grease cook out. This also allows for making meatballs that you can either freeze uncooked or partially cooked and are easily then added to dishes at the last minute with a minimum fuss. These methods work for ground beef, pork, chicken and likely for lamb and other meats, though I haven’t specifically tried others yet.

Quick MeatBalls
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 egg
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Form into patties or meatballs and freeze, or panfry for immediate serving. I also like dropping the uncooked meatballs into stews and soups for a slow cook, or pan frying and finishing with other sauce applications.

Jana Brown

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