Teriyaki Meatballs

This one is great to throw together on a weekend around lunch time and leave cooking all afternoon for dinner.  It is also a popular potluck dish, and makes plenty of servings for just such an occasion…or make it for yourself and have lots of extra for lunches.  Best of all, you can adjust the both the meatballs and the sauce with other “Asian” ingredients to increase the variety of this meal just about any way you want.

For the meatballs, Gather Up:

  • 2 lbs ground elk or grassfed beef
  • 1 lbs bulk breakfast sausage
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the sauce, Gather Up:

  • 2 cans pineapple chunks with juice (8 oz each)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, minced (not pictured)
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1″ chunks

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the burger, sausage, onion, celery, eggs, coconut flour and seasonings.  Mix well with your hands – get both hands in there and mash and knead and massage to make sure everything is well mixed.  Pretend you’re a kid again, making mud pies with your hands.  When everything is well mixed, roll into golf-ball sized meatballs and collect on a plate.

Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a large heavy pan on medium heat.  Working in batches, brown the meat balls all over in the coconut oil.  Transfer to a crock pot as each batch is completed, and add coconut oil to the pan as needed to keep from sticking.

Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the green pepper and arrowroot powder in a small saucepan.  Heat on low heat until it just starts to simmer.  Combine the arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup of water and whisk together, then add to the saucepan.  Stir to combine, then return to a simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the crock pot, making sure to drizzle over all of the meatballs.  Place the lid on the crock pot and cook on high for at least 2 hours, or on low for at least 4 hours.

About 30 minutes before serving, add the bell peppers and stir to mix in well.  If the sauce seems a bit thin, you can mix up another 2 tbsp arrowroot with 1/4 cup water and mix in as well.  Serve up, making sure to get some pineapple and peppers on the plate, and sauce over top of it all.

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9 responses to “Teriyaki Meatballs

  1. Lindsey in AL

    Just last night I was wondering how to modify my existing teriyaki recipe so that it would still be somewhat sweet but without all the brown sugar it calls for. Hooray for you guys (again)!
    For those on a budget, I buy pineapple chunks at Aldi (packed in just pineapple juice) for about $1 for a 1 pound can. And I use cooking sherry with great success in Asian recipes (since I don’t think one can buy sake in places like rural Alabama 🙂 I’m tempted to go looking for sake though, to see how big a difference it makes in the flavor. I’ll definitely be using this later in the week for my family. Thanks.

  2. I would recommend going for real sherry in lieu of cooking sherry whenever possible if you have access to it. Any of the “cooking” wines you see in the stores are lower grade and loaded with salt (and sometimes other preservatives) to provide a longer shelf life – which means you are adding a huge amount of salt to any dish when using cooking wine (without knowing really exactly how much you are adding). And it is usually the same price or more than a bottle of good quality wine (which you can enjoy a couple of sips of while you are cooking). Never having been to rural Alabama, I can’t provide any advice on finding sake out there. I know here in the PNW, any store with a reasonable selection of wines will usually have at least a couple of varieties of sake as well.

  3. Holy cow, these look awesome!

  4. um…perfect for the superbowl potluck I am going to!

  5. Lindsey in AL

    Thanks for the tip Casey. I made it tonight with chicken instead of meatballs and everyone enjoyed it. My kids aren’t crazy about hot pineapple (except on pizza) but they all ate it anyway. I will look for some decent sherry next time I visit a store with wine. Laws on alcohol in stores are weird in the South. We moved here from an hour north of Seattle 8 years ago and we love it here, but there are things I miss 🙂

  6. I sort of thought about the alcohol laws in parts of the south when I replied earlier, but didn’t know about where you are specifically. Quite a change from the North Seattle area, I’m sure. Glad you enjoyed the recipe…I actually had leftovers of it for my lunch at work today myself.

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