Beef heart is one of the greatest, most digestible sources of iron you can find, the trick is getting a one year old to eat it. Enter the Meatball!! We took heart and combined it with beef and pork to create tasty meatballs your whole family will enjoy. Here’s how.
2 lbs. Beef Heart
1 large onions
2 T Garlic, minced
Large dice the heart and the onion and grind it all together with the garlic using a coarse grinder plate on the meat grinder. Then mix in:
1 lb. Ground Beef
1.5 lb. Ground Pork
2 sleeves Ritz Crackers smashed into crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
Here’s the messy part. The best way to get wonderfull, juicy meatballs that have the perfect texture lies not in the grinding, not in the seasoning, but in the kneading! What? Kneading?! This isn’t bread! Have you ever had a bratwurst that was the perfect blend of juicy and chewy with just a touch of snap to it when you first bite in? That’s what happens when you knead the meat. Think of it this way. Why do you knead bread dough? Flour contains a large amount of a protein called gluten. You knead the dough in order to form the gluten into long strands that give the bread body and strength that allows it to rise up instead of just oozing flat across the baking pan. Meat also has protein. You can develop the protein strands in meat much the same as you can in bread, by the exact same technique.
Roll up your sleeves, take off your rings and wash your hands, it’s time to get meaty! Knead the meat for about five minutes or so, or until when you lightly press on the meat it springs back. Don’t over mix or you’ll melt too much of the fat and your meatballs will turn out tough and gamey. Take a small amount of the meat and fry it off to check the seasoning, then start forming the meat into balls.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 min until done. Makes 60-70 meatballs.
Now that you have all these meat balls, what to do with them? We froze most of them. When we want to give our one year old’s meal an iron boost, we just mashed one up and mix it into his favorite food. One meatball makes a pretty good portion size. For Pretty Bird and myself, however, we made one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, Meat Ball Sandwiches!
Take 3-4 meatballs (depending on size) heat them up in your favorite tomato sauce. Put them on hoagies with Mozzarella Cheese and toast them in a 350 degree oven until the cheese starts to brown. Wash it down with beer. If there happens to be football on, even better, I find it really adds to the overall flavor of the sandwich.