I found this antique in my box of recipes, hand-typed on a yellowing, partially disintegrated index card. My great-grandmother developed this recipe, and it is no doubt the origin of the Gold Rush Meat Balls that my mom used to make. The original version was quite different from my mother’s recipe, however. Mamaw used pickles as well as cheese in her meat balls, and her gravy was made with evaporated milk and bouillon.
I did make one small alteration to the vintage version of this recipe: I reduced the amount of ground beef used per meat ball. The directions as written would have yielded 8 servings of 1 meat ball each, using about 1/4 pound of beef per meat ball. This is a bit much for me. :) I was able to get about 8 smaller meatballs out of 1 pound of ground beef, which made two fairly hearty servings. I’ve written the recipe below to serve 4.
I chose to serve this with vegetables, rather than following the original suggestion of cooked noodles. The low-carb eating plan is working well, and I’m happy to stick with it for now.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 16 (1-inch) cubes sharp Cheddar cheese
- 16 (1/2-inch) cubes dill pickle
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Divide the beef into 16 equal portions.
Place 1 cheese cube and 1 pickle cube in the center of each portion, and mold the beef around them into a meat ball.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and pan-fry the meatballs until evenly browned.
Remove the meat balls, and pour off all but 1/4 cup of the residual fat.
Add the chopped onion to the skillet, and sauté until clear.
Add the flour, and whisk until combined.
Add the evaporated milk and bouillon cubes, reduce the heat to low, and whisk until the sauce has thickened.
Salt and pepper the meat balls lightly, and return them to the sauce.
Cover, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
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