Last Minute Meatballs

I had forgotten to go to the grocery store, as is my wont, and needed to figure out something quick. I knew I had ground beef but I didn’t have the onion or tomato paste for my favorite meatloaf. It was chilly and I didn’t want to go outside for grilling, so no burgers. I then remembered that I had a “bag” of Hak’s One Pot Sauce in Korean BBQ and could whip up some meatballs using my Instant Pot. The house smelled amazing even three hours later when I went to bed. And it was as deeeeeelish as it smelled.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup of dried mixed mushrooms soaked for 15 minutes in hot water
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • salt / pepper
  • splash of red wine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package of Hak’s One Pot Sauce in Korean BBQ

Instructions:

Mince drained mushrooms with hand blender and red wine. In bowl, mix beef, mushrooms, flax, panko, egg, 2 tablespoons of the Hak’s sauce, and salt and pepper.

Gently roll into 1.5″ balls.

Heat Instant Pot in saute mode until hot. Add olive oil generously to coat pan (these stick). Saute (in batches if necessary) meatballs, about 2 minutes on each side. Once all are seared, add them back to the Instant Pot, pour in remaining Hak’s sauce and close lid. Turn Instant Pot to Manual 10 minutes (ensure the valve is closed) an wait. Once the time is up, take off the top and leave on the counter in “stay warm” mode for 30 minutes, letting the sauce cook down, pouring the sauce over the meatballs occasionally.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice or vegetables. It went well with a crisp cabbage and kale side salad.

Tri-tip steak with a brussel sprout and pancetta side (and grilled corn! and tomato/cucumber salad!)

We eat a lot of grilled corn around these parts. Especially in the summer. It is a specialty of Hubs and often requested by friends and our extended family.

Our lovely au pair has family in town this month and, on the night her best friend arrived, we invited him to join us for dinner. I found a lovely looking tri-tip steak at the local natural food store, too. We also had some brussel sprouts and pancetta that was reaching its life limit. And, as said before, our tomatoes are abundant. With that, a meal was made.

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Ingredients:

The steak

  • one large tri-tip steak
  • soy sauce (about a 1/2 cup)
  • hoisin (two tablespoons)
  • tomato paste (about a tablespoon)
  • worchestshire sauce (about a tablespoon)
  • sesame oil (one tablespoon)
  • rice wine vinegar (one tablespoon)
  • brown sugar (two tablespoons)
  • lime zest
  • salt/pepper
  • lime juice (one lime)
  • grated fresh ginger (about one inch of a knob)

The brussel sprouts

  • one cup of cubed pancetta
  • one pound of brussel sprouts, ends cut off, outer leaves removed and cut in half
  • half of a vidalia onion, cut against the grain
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic
  • toasted pine nuts

The corn

  • as many ears of corn for as many people you have
  • one lime per four ears
  • sprinkling of salt

Tomato/cucumber salad

  • tomatoes from the garden, cut into rough chunks
  • two cucumbers peeled and cut into one inch chunks
  • basil to taste
  • balsamic to taste
  • salt/pepper

In a large glass baking dish, whisk all ingredients for the marinade (everything but the steak). Once thoroughly mixed, add the steak, fat side up, and let it sit, covered for as long as possible. Flip halfway through the amount of time you have available. I didn’t have too much time (about an hour) but it was still enough to get the flavors intermingled.

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While that marinates, cut your brussel sprouts and onion. In a saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil (or grapeseed) and add the onions. When softening, add the pancetta and cook until done. Take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon (leaving as much of their grease as possible) and put them on a paper towel to drain.

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Add in the cut sprouts, cut side down and let that cook until the cut side is browning. When you see a bit of brown, add a splash of wine and a splash of balsamic and mix until all are covered.  Once the sprouts are cooked, add the pancetta and onions back in to the sprouts. This is often best if it has been sitting for a bit in the pan, letting the flavors meld together. Heat up in the pan right before serving.

When ready to cook the tri-tip, turn on your grill to the lower temperature setting. You will use the burners for the corn and the steak will be on indirect heat, on the rack above. Grill the steak on the upper rack for 15 minutes on each side with the lid closed. When the internal temperature (using an insta-read) reaches 135, take it off and let it sit covered in tin foil for 15 minutes more.  While the steak is resting, turn the heat up on grill and put the corn on. Turn only when the kernels begin to char. When charred on all sides (about 15 minutes, but maybe quicker depending on the corn), squeeze a lime over the corn and sprinkle with parmesan.

Chop the tomatoes and cucumber and mix with basil and balsamic, salt and pepper. Turn the heat up high on the sprouts to quickly heat through. Add the pine nuts now (otherwise they can get soggy).  Slice the steak into thin slices and serve!  This tri-tip was so good that we made it again a few days later.

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