Last updated on February 23rd, 2018
I’m going back to grandma’s cooking with this dish. It seems like everything I ate growing up that was prepared by my grandmother was some sort of meat incorporated with potatoes. Usually, this meant Polish/Russian sausage chopped up and mixed in with mashed potatoes or a baked potato with butter and sour cream paired with a chicken cutlet. My family is such a meat and potatoes kind of family, and obviously this has made its way and translated into my cooking today. There is something so comforting about the two, and this especially can be true with this slowly but surely colder weather creeping up on us– yes, even in Southern California! I live in the desert, so I wake up some mornings to see my windows frosted over and needing to put on my furry slippers and robe to step foot into the bathroom… that tile gets FREEZING! These cold mornings and evenings have led me straight to my kitchen with high hopes to warm myself up- starting with my stomach.
The two vegetables that come to mind when I think of the Fall season are: pumpkins and sweet potatoes. Yes, sweet potatoes are technically available year round here in Southern California, but those two jump out at me before anything else. Oh wait, pumpkins are a FRUIT that’s right. Well, either way… ! I decided I wanted to incorporate some pumpkin flavor into my usual cauliflower mash dish I usually make as a side. I thought it would be helpful to add some raw garlic to really bring out those smooth notes the pumpkin has to offer… just enough so the garlic wouldn’t mask it completely. I made pork meatballs last Fall that turned out really lovely, but I know not everyone eats pork so I thought it was time to try making some with beef instead. I had some leftover sweet potato I had chopped up for a hash I made the morning previously. I decided to throw some into my meat mash with an egg so everything would stick together nicely. This dish brings you the comfort of grandma’s cooking with some extra flare on top. Enjoy it, and definitely hide away some meatballs if you don’t live alone. They will be snatched away from your refrigerator– and quickly!
Sweet Potato Meatballs & Pumpkin Cauliflower Mash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 -10
- 2 pounds grassfed ground beef
- 3 fresh garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 large pastured egg or 2 small ones
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Ghee for frying
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 can of pureed pumpkin approximately 1 1/2 cups
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- First, prepared the cauliflower and pumpkin mash. Rinse the head of cauliflower in warm water and pat dry. Cut into florets and steam the florets until you can poke through with a fork.
- Transfer the florets into a high speed blender or food processor while still hot. Add the rest of the ingredients for the mash and blend, scraping down the sides of the blender if necessary, until everything is well incorporated and smooth. Stir in enough sea salt to your liking and set aside.
- Now, you can move on to the meatballs. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine your spices in a small bowl and set aside.
- Put your ground beef in a large mixing bowl with the egg, sweet potato and onion. Mix thoroughly (I used my hands, it's a good way to incorporate everything well). Then, sprinkle in the mixed herbs all over the ground beef and continue kneeding the mixture until everything seems to be coated well.
- Heat a large cast iron pan on medium heat on your stove. Add in enough ghee to cover the bottom of the pan and a little extra (about 2 tablespoons I think would be safe).
- Fry your meatballs for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are brown. Then, transfer the pan to your preheated oven and finish cooking for another 8-10 minutes. The meatballs should be browned on the outside but slightly pink on the inside. Feel free to come them for longer if that makes you comfortable and happy. But enjoy nonetheless !