Monday, January 6, 2014

Savory Meatballs in Mushroom Cream Sauce


This is my favorite "go to" weeknight meals.  I like to make my meatballs in bulk, cook, freeze and store them in zip bags in my freezer.  This way I know what goes into my meatballs (not excess or extra "fillers") and I always have a a quick meal almost at the ready.  When I first put this recipe together years ago, I did so on a whim and because it was my day to cook (my mom and I took turns).  The results were better than good, it very quickly became one of my moms' and my daughters' favorite meal. In fact, it was heavily requested. My mom was an excellent home chef, but for some reason she never got the hang of how to make this dish, or so she said. Personally, I always thought she preferred that I cook this particular meal.  Whatever the reason was, I was always thrilled that she liked it so much, and it was one those meals where she actually might have seconds.
The sauce in this recipe is just as delicious with the meatballs as it is on its own ladled over pasta or egg noodles. Letting the onions and mushrooms cook together brings about a depth a flavor that only slow and low cooking can bring about.  The onions caramelize just slightly and the mushrooms produce a warm, earthy flavor as they cook down. The white wine provides an acidic balance, while the beef stock rounds outs the overall flavors. Used with meatballs or on it's own I think you will be pleased with the versatility of the recipe.

Serves 4

For the Meatballs:
------Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
1 pound ground chuck*
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 slice of bread, crust removed and soak in 6 tablespoons of half & half.
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Course grind of black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Do not compact the meat. Incorporate the ingredients into the meat by running your fingers through it by gently rubbing your thumb against the pads of your fingers. I find this keeps the meat "light and airy". Make 18 - 2" balls. Instead of rolling the meat in your hands, which makes the meatball dense, flip the meat back and forth between the palms of your hands. Doing this will create a round meatball without having to squeeze or roll it. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.

For the Mushroom Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups fresh sliced cremini mushrooms*
1 large yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth/stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound of cooked meatballs
1 cup cream* (heavy or light, your choice)

Heat a stainless steel pan over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and mushrooms. Saute, stirring frequently 10-15 minutes or until onions/mushrooms a deep golden color.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions/mushrooms, stir to mix in well. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt pepper, stock, wine and meatballs. Stir until it starts to simmer lightly and slightly thicken. Reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream, stir and allow to warm through. Take off heat and add butter, stir until butter melts.

Serve over rice, egg noodles or mashed potatoes or with a salad and bread.  Enjoy!

*Recipe Notes:
Use a variety of ground meats such as pork, chicken, turkey to change up the recipe.
Use any variety of  or combination of mushrooms, that you like.
You can substitute cream with  half & half, fat free half & half, or milk of choice.


  1. Excellent post Jackie! It really sounds (and looks) amazing! Congrats, great work! Thank you!