Manly BUFFalo Meatballs

August 12, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Don't mistake this recipe by its title as some meat-head, body builder's food fantasy. It is anything but that. Though it is packed full of lean red meat and fiber filled quinoa for a bodily powerhouse effect, the delicate combination of sauteed vidalia onions, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes, topped off with a large dash of chipotle make this recipe fit for the daintiest of chefs. Recommend serving this dish with a bottle of Malbec or Zinfandel if you are feeling bold. —zazafrasca

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, minced
  • 1 Carrot, minced
  • 3/4 cup Cooked Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 3/4 cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes (in-oil or not - your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 Dried Chipotle Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground buffalo
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked provolone
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Marinara Sauce of your preference (we prefer a thin simple sauce as the meatballs pack a punch)
  • 1 pound Pasta
  • finely grated Pecerino
  1. Heat Olive Oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions until fragrant. Add carrots and saute until soft.
  2. While onion mixture is cooking, soak the cooked quinoa in the red wine in a small bowl.
  3. Add mushrooms to medium-hot pan with onion mixture and continue to cook until all the water has been released from them. Then quickly add the sun-dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, turning up heat to high. Stir constantly until balsamic vinegar is nearly cooked down.
  4. Turn pan to low. Add quinoa/wine mixture, basil, and chipotle, stirring until well combined. Salt and pepper mixture to taste and remove from heat.
  5. In a large bowl add cooled onion/quinoa mixture, meats, ketchup, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, oregano. Mix gently with your hands until well combined. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour.
  6. Remove mix from fridge and mold into balls. (The size of the meatballs is completely your preference - we prefer to make them smaller when we are serving them with a long/thin pasta or large when serving with a shaped pasta.)
  7. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. (The meats used here are lean so some oil is necessary for non-stick and flavor purposes.)
  8. Brown meatballs in batches (without crowding), turning frequently, about 5-7 minutes per batch, depending on the size of your balls.
  9. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta and heat your preferred Marinara sauce. Cook pasta until al dente.
  10. Add cooked meatballs to marinara sauce and simmer for several minutes.
  11. Serve pasta in bowls, ladling sauce and meatballs over it, sprinkled with cheese.
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  • monkeymom
  • Lizthechef
  • Sagegreen
  • zazafrasca

8 Reviews

flolino August 18, 2010
I love the image as well and the recipe looks pretty good as well. I have found that buffalo is just as tasty but leaner. Great idea!
zazafrasca August 18, 2010
Buffalo is definitely leaner. Do you ever find Buffalo's stronger slightly gamier taste a challenge when you use it in place of beef?

I have run into problems with it being leaner when i try to sub it in beef recipes that call for more marbled cuts.
MarkFlo August 13, 2010
This is a great recipe. I have impressed all my friends with this one. Thanks for this one!
monkeymom August 12, 2010
This sounds great! The chipotle addition sounds so good.
zazafrasca August 13, 2010
Thanks! Buffalo and chipotle worked surprisingly well together. (The first time though I made the mistake of adding a whole pepper.) Actually I made too much quinoa mixture so I used it as a grain next to grilled chicken the next night.
Lizthechef August 12, 2010
Clever photo! Ground buffalo seems to be popping up everywhere, even in my local supermarkets.
zazafrasca August 13, 2010
Yeah its getting popular. Have you tried buffalo in anything? The first time I purchased it was accidental.

I was at the Whole Foods in DC craving iron and started looking at their prepared burger patties. They had a sun-dried tomatoes and blue cheese patties - bought it without even seeing it was actually Buffalo. Now Blue Buffalo burgers are a staple in my kitchen.
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
Love your image. And I really appreciate the quinoa. If I were to start my meatball adventure all over this week, I would go towards a leaner and cleaner direction.