Take the flavor of corned beef, infuse it into ground beef and you get a truly unique meatball, loaded with savoriness! And these are low-FODMAP to boot!
I love corned beef. And I love meatballs. I figured that there has to be a way to combine the two – is that weird? Well, I’ve been told I’m a little on weird side, so it’s par for the course! Here’s how I thought up this super yummy meatball recipe.
For many years, I’ve made raw cat food for my cats. I know, you must be wondering what raw cat food has to do with corned beef meatballs… full disclosure is on the way… I make several varieties, which includes beef. They are so lucky – I use whole, grass-fed chuck roll for their cat food! If you’ve ever seen a whole chuck roll, they’re pretty big. Anyhoo, after making some cat food, we had a bunch of beef left over, so we ground several pounds for ourselves.
We don’t eat a ton of ground beef, but I had to think of several things to do with it so it wouldn’t get freezer burned. Since St. Patty’s day was approaching and everyone is talking about corned beef, I wondered what it would be like if I added the corned beef brine spices to ground beef.
My first hurdle was finding powdered bay. It’s available online, but I just crushed it with my hands and then finished powdering it in the mortar and pestle. Easy squeezy.
Pretty much all of the other ingredients are available in powder and I happened to have all of them in my pantry.
Letting the keto meatball mixture marinate
I like to mix these ahead of time and let them sit in a covered bowl overnight. The flavor really permeates the ground beef and intensifies the corned beef flavor. But you certainly don’t have to do this step – it’s not a requirement. They will be totally delicious either way!
How to cook the meatballs
I’m a huuuge cast iron skillet fan and have quite a collection. For cooking meat, nothing else compares. These tasty little morsels get browned and carmelized in a way that you just don’t get when you bake them in the oven. But there’s nothing wrong with baking them on a cookie sheet if that’s your jam! Baking at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes would probably do the trick!
Cooking low carb meatballs without breadcrumbs
I’ve found that these meatballs hold together really well without a binder. There are plenty enough spices to absorb moisture – the powdered porcini mushrooms are really good for this!
If you do find that you want to use a binder of some kind, there are some basic keto options like using almond flour or parmesan. However, these will change the flavor just a bit. They’ll still be delicious, though!
Forming the meatballs
I try not to roll and pack these too much because it can lead to a dense meatball. I’m a fan of rolling by hand. That doesn’t produce the most uniform meatball, but for me, it’s the easiest.
If you don’t like handling ground meat (I don’t blame you!), then using a cookie scoop works great.
How to serve
Here are a few ways to serve these up: you can skewer with toothpicks, have them in a sandwich (or a lettuce wrap), over sauteed cabbage, over zoodles with butter (yum!) or with Keto Colcannon (my favorite!).
I enjoy them the most with my Keto Mustard sauce, that’s included in the recipe card, below. It’s a perfect combination!
You can also make these into patties and serve them with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut in a bun… It makes a great twist on a traditional burger!
How to store
I like to make a batch and keep these in the fridge for snacks – they’re great for after a workout. They’ll keep for about a week just refrigerated.
If you don’t think you’ll eat them soon enough, they freeze very well. Just arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. When they’re frozen, just toss them in a freezer bag or container. They should keep for for a few months.
This seasoned ground beef is good for more than just meatballs!
I’ve done a few different recipes with the seasoned beef mixture used in these meatballs. Like I mentioned above, they make killer burgers when topped with swiss cheese, sauerkraut and keto thousand island dressing. You can also try just sauteeing the ground beef and filling a keto tortilla with the same ingredients as the burgers and make a quesadilla. Or make a meatloaf with a side of tasty Keto Colcannon. So much to try!
Other recipes you might like
- Keto Colcannon – with Rutabaga!
- Keto Lo Mein with Low Carb Asian Noodles
- Homemade Cauliflower Rice (Keto, Paleo and AIP)
- Easy Lebanese Fattoush Salad (Keto, Low-FODMAP with AIP Option)
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Keto 'Corned Beef' Meatballs with Horseradish Mustard Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef (I like to use 85% fat)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Olive oil (for the pan)
- ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon clove
- ¼ teaspoon bay leaf powder (see Notes)
- ¼ teaspoon dill
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon mace (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (or aleppo pepper. Read more about Aleppo Pepper in my Ingredient Spotlight.)
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons kala namak black salt (Read more about Kala Namak Black Salt in my Ingredient Spotlight. Sea salt is fine too.)
- 1 tablespoon powdered porcini mushrooms (optional - see Notes for alternatives)
for the dip/dressing
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mustard (I use dijon)
- 2 tablespoons horseradish sauce
- Combine spice mixture together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, add spice mixture and tomato paste to the ground beef and mix thoroughly until spices are just incorporated.
- Optional: Let the beef mixture marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
If cooking stovetop
- Add the olive oil to the pan (I like to use a cast iron skillet), just to coat.
- Form the mixture into 1 inch meatballs and place in the pan.
- Cook on medium heat, turning every two minutes or so, until cooked through, about 10 minutes in total.
If cooking in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Place meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake for 20 minutes.
- If you'd like more carmelization, place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes)
- Serve with mustard sauce.
for mustard horseradish dipping sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well until incorporated.
Bay Leaf powderMost bay leaf powder is available online. You can make your own by crumbling and crushing in a mortar and pestle.
Powdered porcini mushroomIf you don't have porcini mushroom powder, there are some alternatives. I like to buy dried, whole porcini and grind them in a coffee grinder that I reserve just for grinding spices. You can choose to leave this out all together, add another mushroom powder or substitute this with almond flour or parmesan cheese. The mushroom powder is simply a bit of a binder for the recipe, but since no egg or other liquid is added, a binder isn't necessary. There are plenty of powdered herbs added to this recipe to act as a bit of a binder, so it's not an issue if you choose to leave the porcini or another substitute out.
*Net carbs = carbohydrates - fiber
Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools and does not include optional ingredients unless otherwise indicated.
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