My Domestic Evening: Turkey Stock and Meatballs

Stock after one hour of simmering and batch #1 of the meatballs!
After spending much longer in York than I had planned today and not getting home until later afternoon I wasn't sure if I was going to be up for making supper and carrying out my somewhat ambitious plan: making homemade turkey stock and making a double batch of meatballs to freeze. The kitchen was already a mess and then after I made Marvelous Mini Meatloaves it certainly wasn't any cleaner. I'm not sure what got into me, but I decided to go ahead and at least get the stock going since you don't really have to baby-sit it much. I had to clean as I went which I really do hate but there wasn't much of a choice if I wanted to get it done. I got the turkey carcass out of the freezer (leftover from when I roasted a turkey a few weeks back and saved for just this occasion). I realized at this point that I probably should have thawed it out first but then I decided I didn't care. I looked up a couple of recipes for chicken stock - one from my friend Laura's blog and one by Ina Garten (LOVE HER!) and also checked out the one in my handy dandy BH&G cookbook I figured out my plan of action. This is how I do a lot of recipes by the way. I read it or watch it on TV and remember most of how it's done, look up a few recipes, and then mix and match ingredients and steps. I used to be so nervous and scared to have to mess around with an official recipe, but now that I've been the head chef for so long around here it doesn't bother me anymore.
Anyway, back to the stock. I put the carcass into a stock pot. I quartered the onion and took off just the papery layers on skin and threw it in. I cleaned 4 carrots and 3 stalks of celery and chopped them into 4 pieces each and threw them in. Note: You don't have to peel the vegetables but you do have to clean them. Dirt doesn't strain out very well. I would have used a head of garlic but I didn't have one so I put in as much chopped garlic as I had left in my little jar (which wasn't much). I didn't have any fresh herbs so I threw in a tablespoon of dried poultry seasoning and then a couple tablespoons of Kosher salt. I then put in enough water to just about cover everything and put it on to boil. After it came to a boil I turned it down so it would simmer and now I'm going to let it go for about 4 hours. When it's done I'm going to use a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth to strain out the solids. I'll let it chill overnight in the fridge and tomorrow I will remove the surface fat before putting into containers and into the freezer. Really it's pretty easy and supposedly it's a lot tastier and healthier to make your own. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I'll take have to take pictures of the finished product and post them later. But right now I have to tell you that our house smells so amazing from the stock cooking! And I know it's gluten free so it's safe if I use it to make anything for the GF members of my extended family.
After I got the stock going I figured I might as well keep going so I also made a big batch of easy meatballs. They're pretty good when you put them in the crock pot with some spaghetti sauce or serve them with BBQ sauce. I think they'd be good with brown gravy too. They freeze really well and that's partially why I like making them since I can get several meals out of about the same amount of effort. They are not GF by the way.
I used:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 box stove top stuffing (I used turkey flavor because it was on sale)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup water
I also like to add these when I'm making them for spaghetti:
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 grated parmesean cheese
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Mix the egg and water together. Then mix in the stuffing and let it soak up everything. Add in anything extra like garlic and mix well. Then mix in the ground beef. Try not to overmix it or you'll get tough meatballs. I line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray. I use my large scoop so that I get meatballs of approximately the same size and roll the mixture into balls. I get about 24 large meatballs. Place on baking sheet and bake for around 18 minutes or until they are 160 degrees inside. I have to do this in two batches because my oven isn't big enough for two baking sheets.

I'm pretty proud that I somehow found the motivation to get this all done. Now if only I can convince Glenn to do the rest of the dishes...


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