Friday, January 04, 2013

Frugal large family meals - Meatball sandwiches

Having made enough meatball sandwiches to serve 13 people last night using just two pounds of beef, I thought I would share my recipe. This makes a lot of meatballs, so that I even had some leftover and three people were able to have them for lunch. I'm also not quite sure how you go about halving it. I would suggest if you don't need to feed 13 people, that you go ahead and make the whole amount and freeze*** a portion of it. That way you'll have one or two meals in the freezer for the work of one.

Meatballs for sandwiches

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup of rehydrated TVP (**see my note about this below)
1/2 cup wheat germ (I use raw wheat germ, but you could use toasted as well)
3 eggs
~1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (we use Romano these days because it is made from sheep's milk)
2 tsp dried parsely
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp oregano
some salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into ~1 1/2 inch diameter balls and place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until baked through, about 20 minutes. Bring spaghetti or marinara sauce to a simmer (I use leftover sauce that I have frozen... it doesn't take much, just a couple of cups) and add the meatballs. Simmer for a few minutes. Serve in crusty rolls.

**Note about TVP.  TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein and I use it to stretch my ground beef, if I know the beef is going to be in some sort of sauce. The instructions for hydrating it are on the package and I usually just add one cup if I am using it. It doesn't really change the taste (but I only use with sauces just to be safe), but it does change the consistency a bit. It make the meatballs a bit more crumbly. Since I serve these in buns, it doesn't matter. If I were serving them over noodles, I would probably leave it out. But if you do use it and want to freeze the meatballs, I would strongly suggest that you freeze them uncooked.

***Here is how I would freeze them.  Form the meatballs as usual, but instead of putting them on a baking sheet, I would line several pans with wax paper and freeze them in those. Once they are frozen, the meatballs can then be easily transferred to freezer bags. I would bake them frozen, but plan on a longer baking time. Also, be sure to cool the TVP before using it if you are going to freeze the meatballs raw.

1 comment:

Angie said...

I made this tonight! I made a half recipe and it fed our family of 5 easily. We had the meatballs with BBQ sauce. I also used Oat bran instead of Wheat germ and they held together fine.

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