The recipe calls for straining the broth before making the gravy, and at first I was not going to, but there is a lot of little bits of meat "residue" after simmering, so it's best to. Also, using an immersion blender doesn't work too well here; better to use the regular blender. Vent the lid and cover it with a cloth though, because hot liquids in a blender have a tendency to explode the lid off. Just be careful.
The first time I made this, we had it with dried German Spaetzle noodles, pictured above. The next time, we had it with these mashed potatoes.... soooo good! (For the taters- I used 2 oz of cream cheese for this meatball recipe and just threw the rest into the potatoes.) They are so much better with the mashed potatoes. When making the gravy, I had to thicken it with a small amount of flour/water slurry and then cook until thickened- no big deal.
The second time I made these, there was no ground beef at my store, AT ALL. Not even frozen. Not even ground turkey. So I did something I've never done before- picked up a small bag of pre-made, frozen meatballs and used that. Not nearly as good as homemade; they tasted ok but had a too-soft, spongy texture, and were very salty. But still, with the homemade gravy and mashed taters, the meal was very enjoyable.
adapted from Skinnytaste
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced (or a few shallots)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced (optional; I didn't have)
1/4 cup minced parsley (or 1-2 TBS. dried)
1 lb 93% lean beef
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
2 oz light cream cheese
1. In a large deep saute pan, heat oil on medium heat, add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add celery and parsley and cook until soft, about 3-4 more minutes. Let cool a few minutes.
2. In a large bowl combine beef, egg, onion mixture, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well and form meatballs with your hands 1/8 cup each (fill 1/4 cup then divide the meat in half).
3. Add beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly drop meatballs into the broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside in a serving dish. Strain the stock, add to blender with cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Return to pan and simmer a few minutes to thicken, then pour over meatballs. If gravy does not thicken, make a small amount of flour/water slurry and add to mixture; cook and stir until thickened. Garnish with parsley and serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or with toothpicks if you want to set these out as an appetizer.
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