On Top of Old Smokey

There are some kinds of meat or recipes with meat that just don’t trip my trigger.

Meatloaf. Chili. Kielbasa. Lasagna. And meatballs.

When I was younger, my mom occasionally bought these huge bags of frozen meatballs from Sam’s Club. I remember my brother sometimes heating a few up in a bowl in the microwave, and the smell of them was enough to turn my stomach.

I like meat interspersed throughout a dish and not completely clouding a dish. Unless of course it’s a steak or a pork chop. That’s a different story.

But then I had a meatball that changed my opinion on meatballs. Said meatball was made by yours truly this St. Patrick’s Day. I used a recipe from the Avoca Cafe Cookbook which I served with an amazing tomato sauce over herbed couscous.

With a pound of ground elk begging to be used in the freezer, I definitely had designs on dinner tonight.

Make these. Even if you hate meatballs. They will change your opinion on meatballs, too. And this is coming from a humaneitarian-flexitarian-formermeatballhatertarian.

Recipes adapted from: Avoca Cafe Cookbook

Kilmanogue Meatballs

  • 2 lbs minced steak, ground beef, or ground elk 🙂
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tsp pesto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Shape into balls. Bake for 20 minutes or until well browned. (Or fry if you are so inclined).

Stir into this sauce:

Amazing Tasty Yet Simple Tomato Sauce

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-28 oz cans diced or crushed tomatoes (I prefer diced)
  • 6 oz red wine
  • pinch of brown sugar
  • salt and pepper

Saute onions in a medium saucepan in olive oil for ten minutes. Add garlic cloves, tomatoes, red wine, sugar, salt & pepper and simmer until desired consistency. Stir in meatballs and let simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

You could serve this over pasta, but since you’ve come this far, why not serve it over couscous like that do at the cafe in Ireland? I cooked some pearled couscous in vegetable broth and seasoned it with marjoram, basil, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper.

 

It made for one amazingly tasty meal.

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