Meatball Skillet Dinner
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 lb. ground beef (85% or 90% lean)
2 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t garlic salt
1/4 t pepper
1 egg, beaten with a fork
1/4 cup milk
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Celery soup
6 smallish potatoes (lg. reds or sm. russets)
6 carrots (fresh, green-top bunch if possible)
1 T butter (for sauté of onions and meatballs)
1. Chop the onions on a cutting board. Sauté them in some butter (about a teaspoon-sized chunk of butter) in a large skillet over medium low heat. Stir occasionally so they don’t burn. You want them to be slightly brown. Turn the heat off and set the pan aside on the stove to rest
2. Break the egg into a small bowl and whisk it with a fork.
3. In large bowl, add ground beef. On top of the meat add all the ingredients through milk.
4. With clean hands - gently mix the ingredients into the meat. Use your fingers to poke the ingredients into the ground beef as uniformly as you can. Then turn the meat over and gently incorporate everything without totally overworking the meat.
5. Add the onions to the meat mixture. Work the onions in gently by poking them in and distributing them throughout the meat without overworking the meat. (Overworked hamburger will be dense and tough.) No one wants tough meatballs.
6. Get a plate ready next to your bowl. Take a golf ball-sized pinch of the meat mixture and form it into 1” meatball by patting the ball gently in your hands. Place meatball on the plate. Repeat. Try to make them evenly-sized so they cook evenly. The meat is sticky so you can wet your hands to help with the process. But I just go for it. The meat mixture is pretty wet and the meatballs will not be perfectly shaped. The cooking process will help firm them up. No worries.
7. Wash hands. Wash and peel carrots with a veggie peeler and cut into quarters. Set aside
8. Wash and peel potatoes and cut into quarters. (If red potatoes you can leave the peel on!) Set aside with the carrots.
9. Heat the large skillet again over medium heat. Add the rest of the butter and a small dash of olive oil to the heated pan and let it melt and get a little sizzley. Tip the pan to move the melted butter/oil so it coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Add the meatballs to the pan one at a time with space between each ball. Let them cook on one side until browned and then shake the pan to move them around and unstick them. Use two spoons or a spatula to gently flip them. The goal is to brown them all over but not cook them through. They are tender so you must be gentle. Try to get them browned on all sides as best as you can. Middles of the meatballs will still be pink.
10. Once the meatballs are browned, shut off the heat and move the meatballs with your spoon or spatula to the outer edges of the pan. Add the potatoes and carrots into the center of the pan. Pour the soup over your meatballs and veggies - try to distribute the soup in an even pattern. It will be gloppy but that is ok as the heat will spread it out as it cooks. When done, fill the soup can half way up with water. Pour this in the pan too. This will become the sauce as the dish cooks.
11. Sprinkle the whole pan with salt and pepper (approximately 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt) just to season it overall and to give the whole dish more flavor.
12. Cover skillet. Turn on heat to slightly above low. You want to see a little bit of bubble action which means it is cooking. If you check back and it is bubbling too much, just turn down the heat a little closer to low. You don’t want it madly boiling or it will cook too fast. You want a nice mellow simmer.
13. Set the timer. It needs to cook for a total of 30-35 mins. You know it is done if the veggies are soft when poked with a fork. Turn off heat so it doesn’t overcook. No one wants mushy veggies.
Serves 3-4 people