P Dub

P Dub, to those of you who live under a blogging rock, is none other than Ree Drummond–The Pioneer Woman.  Rancher, homeschooler, blogger, author and cooker of some of the most butter-laden dishes that side of the Mississippi.  I bring this up because instead of blaming me for posting nothing but calorie-filled goodness immediately following the one holiday where people think about how they can begin consuming fewer calories, I want you to blame her.

*just ’cause these don’t look good, don’t mean they don’t taste good*

I would venture a guess that approximately half of the recipes Ree has posted have ended up in my bookmarks files somewhere or other.  The woman might as well be my homepage.  These meatballs are a dish I kept coming back to again and again.

But meatballs are a food that requires a little more effort than usual, and thus, we don’t see too many of them (unless they are frozen, bagged, and purchased at Swedish furniture stores), especially not on weeknights.  Being the loving, doting wife that I am, I recognized that after my husband’s (and my) first day back at work in the new year, we would need a dinner that welcomed us home.  The kind you can smell when you walk in the door.  The kind that warms you up inside.  Surely not the kind that’s on anyone’s New Year’s diet, but one that plain tastes good.

We found it.

Upon first bite, you will close your eyes, breathe deeply and wonder what in your life has ever been so pure and delicious.

That’s a guarantee.

Nothing about making these meatballs is difficult, but each step takes some thought and care.  Eating them on a weeknight feels like a little treat, like how could something so good happen on a Monday?  They wouldn’t be half bad for a Sunday dinner either.  Of if you’re nostalgic for the 60s.  Meatballs with this much ketchup scream 60s.

For the meatballs, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 C oats (weird, right?)
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 T finely minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • plenty of ground black pepper, to taste

For cooking:

  • 1/2 C flour (for rolling the meatballs, pre-browning)
  • Canola oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 C ketchup
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 T vinegar
  • 2 T worcestershire
  • 4-6 T finely minced onion
  • 1 dash Tobasco

Preheat the oven to 350.

Dump the meat, oats, milk, onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix (use your hands) until combined.  Pull off chunks of the mixture, roll into balls and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Why foil-lined?  You won’t have to do this dish later.  Freeze the meatballs for five minutes.

Which gives you just enough time to set up your frying station.  You’re going to brown the meatballs first, so heat some canola oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/4 inch) over medium heat.  Place the flour on a little plate or in a small bowl, and have a 9×13 inch baking dish close at hand.  You’ll know the oil is hot enough if you shake a couple of drops of water on it, and they sizzle.

Take the meatballs out of the freezer.  Roll each in flour, and brown them in the oil until just browned.  Transfer to the baking dish.

Combine all the sauce ingredients (I did this in my measuring cup), and pour over the meatballs.  I stirred everything around.  To write this post I went back to Ree’s photos.  She did no such stirring.  Lesson learned.  Pop the meatballs in the oven for 45 minutes.


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