I have this thing about meatballs. First of all, I just love to eat them. And second of all, If I need to make one meals worth of meatballs…well then I may as well make a big batch of them and bake them in the oven! I love having meatballs in the freezer to quickly make some sweet and sour meatballs, cabbage meatball soup, spaghetti with meatballs or bbq baked meatballs! I love all of them!
I started to do a little series on instagram, taking you through making them with me, but then a cranky baby happened. Then my blog broke. But I’m back! And I have a sleeping baby! So here’s the compliation of the photos I took as I went, as well as the recipe for you to reference back to. No, these are not my best photography, but sometimes you just gotta get a recipe up on your blog!
We start off by dumping your ground venison (or other ground red meat…), rolled oats, eggs, garlic, onions, salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix ’em all up with your hands. Then wash your hands really well cause it probably feels pretty nasty right about now.
The trick here to making this not the most ridiculous amount of work ever? A portion scoop. Also known as an ice cream scoop. I’ve got 2 tbsp and 4 tbsp/quarter cup portion scoops. I adore them. To find out how big your portion scoop is, simple use a tablespoon measure and fill it up with scoops of water. Once you know how big it is, you can easily use it for measuring honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, and other sticky things. Use bigger portion scoops for muffins and cupcakes. 2 tbsp one gets used for meatballs and cookies quite often!
Portion scoop a whole bunch out onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. The parchment paper is optional, but it does make your clean up sooooo much easier! (They’ll look like the ones closest to the portion scoop. Simply take a scoop and scrape it up the side of your bowl to make it level.). Then give them a quick roll with your hands to make them a bit smoother. Don’t go overboard, just a little roll will smooth out the edges.
Next you’re going to bake them at 375F for about 20 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. By baking them, you save yourself a bundle of time because you’re not standing over a frying pan browning them! They may not be as perfectly browned as if you had browned them in a cast iron…but no one is going to complain and you’re going to thank yourself for the time savings!
I inevitably end up plucking a few off of the pan as they’re cooling and eating them with BBQ sauce or whatever else I can find in the fridge. I just can’t help it. Cool them on the pan, then pluck them off and freeze them in bags. I label how many I have in the bag, and usually do about 18 as thats a good dinner and leftover lunch for someone.
Use these as you would any other meatballs, whether ones you make, or ones you buy frozen from the store. (See top of post for ways we love them!)
Big Batch Meatballs
5 lbs Ground Venison (Or sub other wild game/domestic meat. I use this same recipe for ground turkey I get from my Stepdads turkeys)
1 1/2 c rolled oats (Quick or Old Fashioned, don’t matter)
5-15 garlic cloves, chopped. Garlic lover? Add 15. Garlic is meh to you? add 5.
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
Ground Black pepper to taste
1/3 c dry onion (easier to hide from my onion hating husband) OR 2 medium onions, finely chopped.
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. Use a portion scooper to scoop them out onto a parchment or tinfoil lined baking sheet. Give them a quick roll between your hands to smooth out the edges. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, until cooked through. Cool on pan, then bag up in freezer bags, labeling with date, number of meatballs, and that they’re Venison Meatballs!