Some of the best recipes are passed down through oral tradition. My mother taught me to make this dinner when I was about 9 years old, and I have documented the amounts and process for this blog. As is usual with recipes, the form changes slightly with each generation. Mom always made the meatballs with Cheddar cheese; I use a mixture of Cheddar and blue cheeses. The gravy, however, remains unchanged.
Proper pan-fried gravy is a bit of an art form. I have met only a handful of people in my generation who know how to make any gravy that does not come from a powdered mix. I now pass on this skill to you, the reader. The timing is delicate, and the steps must be followed in order. Once you have added the liquid, you cannot add more flour without the gravy becoming lumpy. And if the gravy sticks to the pan and burns, you’re in trouble. Use a very low heat setting, and keep a close eye on what is happening. Let me know in the comments section if you have any trouble or questions, and I will do my best to help.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 16 (1/2-inch) cubes Cheddar cheese
- 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
- 1/4 cup white flour
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup milk
Divide the ground beef into 16 portions. Each portion should be roughly the size of a small handful.
In the center of each portion, place 1 cube of Cheddar cheese and a small amount (roughly 1/2 teaspoon) of the blue cheese.
Roll up each portion into a meatball. Make sure the meat is as compacted as possible, or the cheese will melt and run out.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
Add the meatballs to the skillet, and roll them in the oil to coat.
Sprinkle the meatballs with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder.
Turn the meatballs, and sprinkle with the rest of the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Brown the meatballs, and remove them from the oil. Reduce the heat to low.
Sprinkle the flour into the remaining oil in the skillet, and use the back of a gravy ladle to mix. This technique helps to keep the texture smooth and free from lumps.
Add the water to the skillet, and continue mixing with the back of the gravy ladle. The gravy may thicken quite quickly at this point; you may add more water as needed.
Add the milk to the skillet, and mix gently.
Add the meatballs back into the gravy.
Baste the meatballs with the gravy, and cook until the gravy becomes as thick as desired.
Serve the meatballs with mashed potatoes, a vegetable of your choice, and a generous amount of gravy.
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