Ready for another of my “round food that is at least vaguely Irish themed” recipes from our St. Pi-trick’s Day Party?
I love Irish Stew. When done properly, it’s such a simple dish, but with a lot of good, “clean” flavor. It’s a hearty meal that really lets the individual flavors take the spotlight: Perfectly cooked carrots and parsnips, at just the right level of tenderness… fresh parsley, good meat. Yum!
As Irish stew may be, well, Irish, there’s nothing “round” about it, aside from the bowl it’s served in. I decided I’d create a meatball, themed around the flavors of Irish stew.
Oh, these were fabulous… and pretty much flew out of the crock pot they were served from! The carrots, parsnips, and parsley added a ton of flavor to the meatballs, the texture was great, and it all came together perfectly.
While these were specifically designed to be gluten free (though you’d NEVER know it, to taste them!), feel free to substitute “normal” crackers and flour, if gluten isn’t a concern.
Irish Stew Meatballs Recipe
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2/3 cup finely crushed gluten free crackers (I used Schar)
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp+ potato starch
1/4 cup fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Grate carrot, parsnip, and onion (I love my food processor!), place in a nonstick pan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until vegetables start to “sweat” out their moisture. Add garlic, continue to cook until liquid disappears. Remove from heat, transfer to a mixing bowl to cool slightly.
Once vegetables are cool enough to handle, add beef, pork, parsley, eggs, cracker crumbs, potato starch, pepper, and salt. Using your (clean!) hands, gently mix everything together until it’s all well incorporated into the mix. Be gentle- you want to just mix, not squeeze and compress it much!
Shape meat mixture into meatballs – about 1 1/2″ in diameter. You’ll end up with about 62 meatballs.
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Once hot, brown meatballs a few at a time, turning every so often to ensure even browning. Transfer browned meatballs to a plate as you finish each batch.
In a large pot, whisk together beef broth and potato starch until smooth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add parsley, salt, and pepper, continue to cook – whisking frequently – until thickened. Add meatballs, continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
If making these for a party, you can cook the gravy in a smaller pot. Add the browned meatballs to a crock pot, pour the thickened gravy over top, and heat for at least 30 minutes on high before serving. Turn heat down to low or “Warm” while serving.
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