Farm Stand Meatballs
One of the perks of selling at the farmers market is getting to know other folks in our community who are growing/raising food for our valley as well. Our dear friend and fellow farmer (hi Tim!) is not only a total bad ass but he just so happens to raise some of the highest quality beef in our area. We’ve gotten to know Tim pretty well over the years and he just so happens to be our weekly “beer date” after the farmers market every Saturday. We always look forward to heading out to the pub once we’re all packed up after a long day. Clinking glasses and finally getting to relax with a dear friend is one of the highlights to our week. Taylor and I treasure these beer dates and we love getting to talk “shop” and learn a bit more about our fellow farmers and ranchers. This past week Tim told us a really sweet story about the early days on his ranch (he and his wife have always raised free range grass fed cows—even before it was a “thing”) and those first years of business they never even got to enjoy their own beef—they were surviving off of elk and deer hunted on their property (and tired of it quickly.) They didn’t have a choice though, every single sale of beef counted and money was tight. So years of eating wild game and working their asses off (and raising two children to boot!) was just how they did things. However, after years of tireless labor business started to pick up and gradually they were bringing in more money. Finally, after too many venison burgers and elk stews they got to try their own beef. With a twinkle in his eye and a big cheeky grin Tim told us they haven’t eaten elk or deer since! His beef truly is amazing and knowing how hard he’s worked to get to where he is makes us proud to call him a friend and we feel honored that we get to sit down to such lovely meals because of his hard labor.
These farm stand meatballs are a celebration of all the hard working farmers and ranchers who feed us daily. We feel pretty darn lucky knowing that the majority of our dinner plates are made up of the food grown/raised by us or our good friends. These little meatballs are extra tasty with the addition of fresh rosemary and garlic. The collard greens have a lovely bite from a little honey/mustard mixture while the dried apricots add a touch of sweetness that compliments the whole meal. This is comfort food at its best and I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we do.
If you live close to a farmers market I’d suggest grabbing all the goods for this simple recipe if you can (I know that’s not possible for all of you.) And hey, if you do so maybe you’ll get to hear a sweet story about the farmer behind your dinner!
Cheers to the harvest!
Farm Stand Meatballs with Collard Greens & Apricots
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4Meatballs
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large bunch of collard greens, tough removed and very thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 6 dried apricots, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl add your ground beef, rosemary, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix well. Once the herbs and spices are evenly distributed form the mixture into small meatballs.
- Coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with oil. Arrange the meatballs neatly in the pan. Bake in the oven for about 18- 20 minutes or until your meatballs are cooked through.
- Remove the meatballs from the oven and place the pan on the stove. Use tongs to remove the meatballs to a large plate (reserving the pan juices) and heat the skillet to medium. Add the mustard and honey and whisk well. Add the collard greens and cook, stirring often, until they are coated in the honey/mustard mixture and are becoming tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped apricots, salt and pepper, toss well. Place the meatballs back in the pan to heat though and serve warm.
Notes*This recipe is adapted from So Let's Hang Out *Use this recipe as a guide *Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary