Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Comfort Meatballs with Crash Hot Potatoes (from the Pioneer Woman)

Wow. I can't believe I waited so long to make these recipes. I mean, they've both been on my radar for a while now. The Comfort Meatballs are one of the many, many dishes I've been dying to try out of Ree Drummond's cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I've had that book for nearly a year now, and I realize it's been terribly underused. I say that because this is the first thing I've made out of it, and it was to die for. As for the Crash Hot Potatoes? Also to die for. Crisp on the outside and perfect and tender on the inside, these fluffy taters are truly unique and delicious.

The meatballs begin with just a basic, standard meat and oats mixture. Add some milk, minced onion, salt, and pepper, mix, and shape into meatballs. Allow them to set up in the fridge for a bit.

Then, you brown the meatballs on the stove and pour a sauce all over them. The sauce is also made up of very basic ingredients. It contains some ketchup, some Worcestershire, a bit of Tabasco, some vinegar, sugar, and minced onion. Once those ingredients mix, however, they become magical. Really. I can't explain it, except to say that I don't even like ketchup by itself, and I could have eaten this sauce straight, with a spoon. I mean, it's just yummy.

So then you bake the meatballs with the sauce poured all over. They become baked through, and the sauce becomes gooey and bubby and perfectly wonderful. I'm sure these meatballs would have been even more decadent if I'd made them with ground beef, but they were fabulous with ground turkey.

Now, as if that weren't enough wonderful-ness for one meal, you get these potatoes on the side! Man, were these good! I couldn't stop picking at them while I was getting the rest of the meal together. They're so easy to do, too. There's just no reason for me not to make these at least weekly. Or more than weekly. In fact, I'd like to make them right now...

All you need to do is boil some small potatoes until fork-tender, then place them on a baking sheet. Next, you get to squash them with a potato masher! It was very fun, especially for my 5 year-old son. You just squash them once in one direction, then turn the masher 90 degrees and squash again in the opposite direction. This makes them all textured, and sorta flat. I compared them to home fries after making them. But tastier. Much, much tastier.

After you've "crashed" all the taters, you can season them with salt and pepper, as well as any herbs you may have lying around. I didn't use any herbs this time, but I didn't miss them. These were sublime with just good ol' s&p. Finally, make sure they have enough olive oil on them that they will not burn, and then bake them. That's it. Easy to make, and great for aggression if you're in the mood to squish something! I highly recommend making this meal next time you're in the mood for meat and potatoes. It just doesn't get much better than this!

Comfort Meatballs
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
makes 6 to 8 servings

For the meatballs
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I used turkey)
3/4 cup quick oats
1 cup milk
3 Tbsp. very finely minced onion
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 cup flour

For the sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 to 6 Tbsp. minced onion
Dash of Tabasco

1. In a bowl, combine the ground beef and oats. Pour in the milk, then add the diced onion and salt. Add the black pepper, then stir to combine.

2. Roll the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and refrigerate them for 30 to 45 minutes to firm. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the meatballs in the flour.

3. Brown the meatballs in batches until light brown. As they brown, place them into a rectangular baking dish.

4. Stir together the sauce ingredients and drizzle the sauce evenly on the meatballs. Bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and hot.

Crash Hot Potatoes
from the Pioneer Woman's website
makes about 6 servings

12 whole new potatoes (or other small round potatoes)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Rosemary (or other herbs of choice) to taste (I did not have rosemary)

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

2. On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between each potato. With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes. Rotate the masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with olive oil.

3. Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available). Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.


  1. This looks delicious and so comforting!! I just recently made a similar version of these crash hot potatoes for the first time - YUM!

  2. Crash Potatoes are browning in my oven, to be served with a Flemish Stew. I love checking into your blog so much!! Your pictures are so tempting and it is such fun to read about your experiences. Keep it up!

  3. The potatoes turned out so well!! I used garlic powder and chives on mine.