Each of my siblings (all 8 of us) has a certain dish or dessert of my mom’s that is our favorite. For example, my favorite dessert is Buttermilk Brownies and one of my brother’s is Blonde Brickle Brownies. There are, however, a few dishes that we can all agree on, one of which is meatballs and mashed potatoes. This is just a good old-fashioned comfort food.
After looking at the recipe, it was really pretty simple. The only real catch was a little bit of pre-planning. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we get a half a beef every year from my wife’s grandparents. I just really needed to make sure to get enough ground beef out and to get it out early enough so that it had enough time to thaw out.
Before I started mixing up the meatballs, I got out my wife’s Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven – the same one that I used for pork, sauerkraut, and dumplings. I then put all the ingredients in a bowl and proceeded to mix everything together with my hands. I was going to use a wooden spoon, but my wife advised that it’s hard to get everything mixed up in this recipe unless you use your hands.
After I got everything mixed up, I started forming about half-dollar sized meatballs and putting them in the bottom of the dutch oven. When I completed the forming of the meatballs, the next task was to put the ingredients together for the sauce. After the sauce was complete, I dumped it over the meatballs, put the lid on the dutch oven, and put it all in the oven for an hour.
While the meatballs were cooking, I started getting the potatoes ready. Now let’s talk potatoes. I would have to say that not all potatoes are created equally. While you can use just about any potato for mashing (as in this case), I would say that you probably shouldn’t use just any potato for baking. When we do mashed potatoes, we typically do either Yukon golds or red potatoes. For baking, we use russets. The reason we typically use the Yukon’s or reds is because they typically have a better texture than the russets. Not that we’re potato experts by any means, that’s just what we do at our house.
As the meatballs were finishing up in the oven, I drained the potatoes and put them in the mixing bowl. With the potatoes I added a stick of butter, some garlic salt, and sour cream (at the advice of my wife). I let the mixer go for a minute or two while I pulled the meatballs out of the oven.
My one fail in this project was not getting an “after” picture of the food before we ate. Everyone was so hungry tonight, I forgot to stop them before we dug in. I did, however, manage to get a picture of my food before I made a “happy plate”as my kids would say.
I’m starting to find a common theme with a lot of the recipes I have done: planning. If you plan ahead, it takes a lot of the difficulty out of the recipe and makes the majority of them seem a lot more doable.