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"The Pioneer Women" Host Ree Drummond's Ready to Go Freezer Meatballs Recipe

By Marisa Dabney | Oct 21st, 2015

On the Wednesday October 21st, 2015 episode of "The View," Ree Drummond makes meatballs with the co-hosts. Ree is the host of "The Pioneer Woman" on the Food Network and the author of several cookbooks. Her Ready-to-Go Freezer meatballs are simple to make and can be used in several different dishes. Watch her and the co-hosts in the kitchen below:

READY-TO- GO FREEZER MEATBALLS
MAKES 125 MEATBALLS

You want to be happy and content in life? Have at least five bags of these meatballs in your freezer at all times. All you have to do is whip up the sauce of your choosing, throw in the meatballs straight out of the freezer, and cook the sauce long enough for them to thaw and heat up. They’re tasty and versatile, and you’ll get hooked on how easy it is to turn them into a delicious dinner. They’re the answer to all your dinnertime prayers.

5 pounds ground beef
1½ cups plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 large eggs
2 heaping tablespoons grainy mustard
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Olive oil, for frying

1. Combine all the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a large bowl and knead it all together well with your hands until it’s well combined.

2. Scoop out 1-tablespoon portions of the meat mixture and roll them into neat balls. Place them on parchment-paper-lined rimmed baking sheets as you go, then put the sheets in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm them up before frying.

3. To brown the meatballs, heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add some meatballs to the skillet and cook them on all sides until they have great color on the surface and are fully cooked inside, about 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Drain the meatballs on paper towels when they’re done, then line them up on clean parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Place them in the freezer, uncovered, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until they’re frozen and firm on the surface.

5. Then just pop them into 5 to 7 separate freezer bags (roughly 25 per bag) and freeze them immediately. They’ll be there when you need them!

FREEZER INSTRUCTIONS:

Freeze the meatballs for up to 6 months. To use them in sauces or soups, simply add them to the hot sauce or soup and allow it to simmer long enough for the meatballs to thaw and heat up.

—OR—

Allow the meatballs to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then use them as you’d like.

SWEET-AND- SOUR MEATBALLS
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS

This sweet, tangy, slightly spicy dinner is one of the best ways to use my beloved Freezer Meatballs. It’s marvelous.

2¼ cups pineapple juice
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
One 25-count bag frozen Ready-to-Go Freezer Meatballs
1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot sauce, more to taste
1 cup drained canned or fresh pineapple chunks
4 tablespoons sliced green onions
1½ cups long-grain or basmati rice, cooked (about 4½ cups), for serving

1. In a large skillet (with a lid), combine 2 cups of the pineapple juice with the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce. Stir the mixture around and bring it to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.

2. To thicken the sauce, make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch with the remaining ¼ cup pineapple juice until smooth. Then add it to the sauce, whisking to combine.

3. Add the frozen meatballs and the sriracha. Toss to combine. Cover the skillet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are heated through.

4. Stir in the pineapple and then sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the green onions.

5. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the rice and sprinkle on the rest of the green onions at the end!

VARIATIONS

Add two 4-ounce jars diced pimientos, drained, to the sauce with the pineapple.
Add coarsely chopped red or green bell pepper to the sauce with the meatballs.

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime © 2015 by Ree Drummond. Reprinted with permission from William Morrow/HarperCollins

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