I turned Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs (or I think they're called Comfort Meatballs in her cookbook) into a freezer meal with great results. I did add an egg to help me pull them together a little easier (in bulk they were just too sticky when raw to deal with). I love these meatballs! Seriously tasty and as a freezer meal they are just as tender and tasty when cooked from frozen. When I made these for my freezer meal swap last month I included a bag of OreIda Steam and Mash Red Potatoes because mashed potatoes are the perfect side to these meatballs.
Pioneer Woman's BBQ Meatballs (Freezer Meal)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper (as much as desired)
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large bowl combine beef, oats, milk, egg, 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix with hands until well combined. Roll into medium-small balls (I used a medium cookie scoop to keep the meatballs of uniform size) and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place cookie sheet with meatballs in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and immediately dredge meatballs in flour and place back on cookie sheet.
In a large skillet heat 1/3 cup oil or enough to coat the bottom of your skillet. Brown the meatballs in batches in the hot oil, making sure to brown all sides of the meatballs. Place browned meatballs onto a cookie sheet. You do not need to cook the meatballs through, just brown them on all sides. Place cookie sheet of meatballs in the freezer until meatballs are frozen solid. Transfer meatballs to a gallon size freezer bag, label with cooking instructions and freeze.
BBQ Sauce Assembly:Combine ingredients for BBQ sauce in a small bowl, whisking till blended. Pour into a quart size freezer bag and freeze flat.
Thaw sauce in fridge overnight, but keep the meatballs frozen till ready to cook. Place frozen meatballs in a 9x13 baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Pour thawed sauce over the meatballs using a spoon to toss the meatballs in the sauce. Bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered at 350 degrees.*
*Meatballs need to be cooked all the way through and register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer as they are not cooked all the way through prior to freezing.