Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gluten-Free Buffalo Meatballs with Cream Sauce

Buffalo Meatballs

When our family raised buffalo (yes, you read that right), this is one of the recipes my mom created using their lean flavorful meat. This dish is even better reheated. The meatballs are tender and the creamy sauce is rich and flavorful.

If you don't want to hunt down buffalo, you can make the meatballs with a combination of 12 ounces ground beef and 4 ounces ground pork.


Meatball Mixture:

1 large egg
1 c. soft bread crumbs, not packed (or for a GF version replace with 2 T. potato flakes)
2 T. purified water
1 lb ground buffalo meat
2 T. olive oil
1 t. Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free)
1 small garlic clove, smashed well
1/2 c. minced onion
Several gratings fresh nutmeg
1/2 t. sweet paprika
1/2 t. sea salt or BioSalt (recipe on this blog)
Lots of fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Simmering Sauce:

Gluten-free flour for dredging meat balls (recipe on this blog)
1 T. bacon fat plus 1 T. clarified butter (or 2 T. butter)
3 to 4 c. beef or poultry stock (seasoned to taste)
A blend of 50% gluten-free flour and 50% tapioca starch, for thickening
1/2 c. Heavy cream


In a large bowl, mix the egg, water and instant potato flakes or bread together.

Add the buffalo meat and the rest of the meatball ingredients to the egg mixture.

Mix and squish the meatball mixture together with your hands (wear food-safe gloves if desired).

Shape into 1 1/2-inch sized meatballs.

Dredge in gluten-free flour.

In a large, deep frying pan, brown the meatballs in a mixture of 1 T. bacon fat and 1 T. clarified butter (or 2 t. butter).

Cover browned meatballs with 3 to 4 c. of beef or poultry stock.

Cover and simmer very gently for 1 hour.

Thicken the stock with a mixture of water and the GF flour/tapioca starch mix, to make a gravy.

Pour in heavy cream and stir to blend. Check seasoning and adjust if needed

Remove from heat and let cool, then chill overnight.

When ready to serve, gently warm the meatballs in the thickened sauce.

Serve over brown basmati rice, gluten-free noodles, or seasoned mashed potatoes.


Using gluten-free bread in place of regular bread does not work. Don't do it. You could try using up to 1/3 c. homemade mashed potatoes if you want to, or some soft cooked brown rice or warm quinoa for more texture. I have not done this, so if you try it, let us know how you liked it.


If you don't have buffalo or beef broth ready, in a pinch you may use water plus a high quality organic Beef Base. I did it and it worked out great. I added a touch of sherry to the sauce, along with a little onion salt, garlic powder, and a shaving of nutmeg.

The pictures of making this dinner:

Starting the meatballs

Hand mixing the meatballs

Meatballs in the frying pan

Steaming some carrots for the side

The meatballs are almost done

Adding frozen baby peas to the nearly done carrots
Removed finished meatballs from pan
Making the sauce

Adding the meatballs to the simmering sauce

Warm the meatballs through

Meatballs and sauce ready to serve

The veggies are done steaming
A rice cooker makes perfect rice
Jasmine rice ready to go

Dinner is ON - Buttered peas & carrots, Jasmine rice, and the meatballs