Meatballs in Caramelized Onion Gravy

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite…These meatballs, especially when paired with buttered noodles or creamy mashed potatoes, have the makings of a fine family dinner. When my children were young, they shared my love for them and it seems their children have, in turn, inherited that errant gene that makes meatballs so appealing. This is a straight foreward recipe that is quick to put together. The thing that sets this dish apart from others like it, is the wonderful onion gravy the meatballs simmer in. This is an easy recipe to double or triple if you have a gang to feed. While the novelty quickly fades, young children love to assist with the meatballs, and you’ll have a corp of assistants willing to assist you for the first 5 minutes or so. After that you’ll probably be on your own, but their creations, which can range from pea to softball size meatballs, will inspire you. I do hope you’ll try this recipe. Here’s how the meatballs and their gravy are made.

Meatballs in Caramelized Onion Gravy modified …from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1-1/4 lbs lean ground beef, room temperature
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided use
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, divided use
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 very large (softball size) onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
2 (10.5-oz.) cans condensed beef broth
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt, to taste

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2) Place bread crumbs (panko) and buttermilk in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add eggs, garlic salt, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix well.
3) Place ground beef in a large bowl. Add egg mixture and mix to combine. Form into 40 meatballs, about 1 level tablespoon each. Place on prepared rack over baking sheet. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, cover pan, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until onions have wilted, about 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook until onions area deep golden brown, about 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle flour over mixture, stir and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add about 2 cups of condensed beef broth, stirring until flour is completely incorporated into liquid. Bring contents of pan to a simmer. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the nutmeg. Add salt to taste. Return meatballs to skillet, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.