Saturday, October 11, 2014

Grandma's (Paleo) Meatballs

My Gramma was pretty much the coolest human being who ever lived. Over the course of my entire life, she stuffed me full of delicious Italian food. Being that she was the first generation of Italian immigrants born in the USA, that Italian food was pretty dang good. Gramma didn't exactly know the meaning of Paleo when she was alive, but she knew the secret to making moist and delicious meatballs. Unfortunately for those of us who eat Paleo, those meatballs were stuffed with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

But guess what? If you strip both those things away, and swap in a little seasoned almond flour for the breadcrumbs, you'll be on your way to meatballs just the way Gramma used to make 'em - only Paleo style.

Why is my gramma giving metal fingers?
Because she's a M*****F****** BOSS, that's why!
But on to the recipe! Here are a few general notes for the best gaddang meatballs you've ever had in your entire life.

General Notes:
  1. Instead of boring ground beef, use meatball mix, which is equal parts beef, pork and veal.
  2. You need the egg AND the almond meal. Don't leave either one out. They'll bind the meatball and keep it spongy and moist. No one wants a gristly meatball. Blech.
  3. Use your hands to mix everything up - but don't overdo it. (And if you hate getting meatfingers, try wearing rubber gloves like I do. I have a thing about getting meatfingers, don't ask.)
  4. When rolling your balls, keep a light touch. Baddabing!
  5. Don't skip the sear. That delicious brown crust will take the meatball to the next level.
  6. Simmer your balls in (what better be) a delicious homemade sauce for 2 hours MINIMUM, though I usually go for 3. They'll be so tender it'll make you want to cry.
If you break any of these meatball commandments, Grammies will come haunt your ass. That's 4 feet 10 inches of pure Eye-talian spitfire. Trust me, you don't want that.

Need a tomato sauce recipe? Try Hand Crushed San Marzano Tomato Sauce. Just swap the pork out and the meatballs in. (Or leave it. You can never have too much meat, suckas.)


  • 2 lb meatball mix (or just plain ground beef if you suck at life)
  • 1 onion (grated or minced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
  • 1 cup seasoned almond flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and combine with your hands. (See note #3 above regarding meatfingers. Yuck.)
  2. Roll the balls gently with your hands. If they stick to your fingers, coat your hands very lightly with a bit of the olive oil. I like big balls (zing!) so I make them about 2" a pop. I get about 18 large meatballs out of 2 lbs of meat. Set the balls aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
  3. Heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Sear the outside of the meatballs in 2 batches until they have a nice brown crust. 
  4. Drop them in your saucepot when done and simmer on the stove for 2-3 hours.
(NOTE: You can add other meats to your pot along with the meatballs. I like tossing in sausages, pork bracciole, and even spareribs. Just remember to sear everything in the frying pan before you put it in the pot.)

the beauty of the meatball mix

That's my grammies' own big aluminum pot.
So many thousands of meatballs have passed through this pot.
It's like the holy grail of meatballs.
Buon Appetito!


  1. I realize it's almost 2 years after this post, but I just found you! And I just made this recipe for my hubby who thinks these are the best meatballs ever. Which is huge because he grew up with a strong Italian influence!

  2. your meat balls look really nice i would prepare this for the entire family on thanksgiving with the help i have gotten from buy essays online i can now juggle assignment help and other activities