Local Flavor Recipe: Meatballs

Cut: Ground Beef from Rocky Hill Farm & Beef
Yield: Serves 6

Our favorite meatballs can be dished up just about any way you like. This time we served them over spinach linguine with some local tomato sauce.

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup plain bread crumbs or panko
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 pound)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 pounds ground beef (not lean)
  • ¼ – ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Cook onions in extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Stir together cooled onion mixture, bread crumbs/panko, eggs, parmesan, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, salt, and pepper until combined.

Add meat to bread mixture, gently mixing with your hands until just combined (do not overmix).

Form meat mixture into about  (1 1/2-inch balls with dampened hands, arranging meatballs on a large baking sheet.

Heat olive oil ¼ cup olive oil in a 12-inch heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown meatballs in 4 or 5 batches, turning frequently, about 5 minutes per batch. Return to baking sheets while you cook the remaining meatballs as to not overcrowd. Add more olive oil as needed while cooking the remaining batches.

Add all meatballs back to the pan* and add your favorite local tomato sauce and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve over your favorite pasta!

*I recommend leaving all of the juices from the cooking process in the pan. It adds flavor and you will find there is not a lot of it as grass fed beef is lean!

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Actually, Raising Beef Is Good for the Planet

BL9A0058People who advocate eating less beef often argue that producing it hurts the environment. Cattle, we are told, have an outsize ecological footprint: They guzzle water, trample plants and soils, and consume precious grains that should be nourishing hungry humans. Lately, critics have blamed bovine burps, flatulence and even breath for climate change…. It isn’t just that the alarm over the environmental effects of beef are overstated. It’s that raising beef cattle, especially on grass, is an environmental gain for the planet. READ MORE