Paleo Pork Sausage Meatballs!!

So I forgot to take my own pictures when I was cooking last night (since I thought I was just throwing stuff together) so the picture above is borrowed from CookingHobby. Mine looked pretty much identical, minus the fancy plating, so you get the idea 🙂

Brian was raving about these meatballs today, so I figured I’d put the recipe up for posterity! We bought pork sausage randomly when we were browsing Whole Foods last week (which is also random in and of itself, since we never go to Whole Foods) and I knew right away I wanted to make meatballs. We had about 3/4 of a bottle of marinara in the freezer left over from a previous pizza party, so it was essentially going to be a fridge clearing meal – especially since I’d run out of ideas on what to do with the marinara.

Just a note about the way I cook – everything is very eyeballey and non-precise, which I know is super annoying for someone who is trying to follow a recipe 😦 . But hear me out: I’ve been watching Masterchef Junior recently and it’s really inspired me to be more creative with how I cook, and also to taste everything (as long as its not raw meat haha). I feel like this process has made me a lot better at cooking than just simply following recipe after recipe, especially since the cook might have a different palate than the person who wrote the recipe. I know it really sucks having food come out over-salted or under-seasoned, but it’s a great learning experience that I highly recommend everyone try!

So without further ado:

Ingredients
1 lb pork sausage (ours was preseasoned with Italian spices)
1/3 cup almond meal
1 egg
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (or more, if you like it hot 😉 )
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 jar of marinara sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine pork sausage, egg, salt, pepper, and other spices (save the red pepper flakes) until mixed. Since mine was preseasoned, I left the spices pretty basic, but if you’re buying plain pork, feel free to go nuts with fennel seed, oregano, whatever floats your boat! I kinda just go by feel on salt and pepper, since I usually just eyeball when I’m making recipes up. I didn’t want to make up some arbitrary measurement and have it be wayyy too salty. It’s always better to undersalt than over salt because you can always add more later! 🙂
  2. Gradually mix in almond flour, until the mixture becomes workable and not super sticky. Feel free to go over the recommended amount, since the fat content in the sausage differs from package to package. As long as the mixture is not super slimy and doesn’t fall apart when you try to roll it into a ball, you’re good.
  3. Form meat into balls no more than an inch in diameter.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of oil on a skillet, on medium. When skillet is hot and the oil sizzles, put the meatballs in, making sure that none of them are touching.
  5. Cook until a light brown sear forms (around 2 minutes, but keep a close watch to avoid over cooking), and turn the meatball to sear a different side. Repeat until most sides of all meatballs have been cooked. I flipped 2x total, resulting in a 3sided meatball. It’s fine if there are sections that aren’t seared, where the uncooked sausage is still peeking through.
  6. Stir the red pepper flakes into the marinara sauce, and pour it over the meatballs, so that they are almost fully covered.
  7. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, flipping the meatballs every 10 minutes or so. Meatballs are done when the inside is barely pink.

Try this out and let me know how it is! 🙂 You can also sub in any other type of meat, in any combination – ground chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, etc. Just note that with lower fat content meats like turkey and chicken, you may want to adjust the amount of almond meal you add, or the meatballs might turn out super dry.

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