The best way to sum up this cooking experience is “disaster.” It began when I forgot to buy parsley at the store. I didn’t have time to go back to the store, so I searched high and low for some sort of hidden parsley supply in the kitchen. I finally decided to use 1 tablespoon of “Herbes de Provence” because it at least had parsley in it. I enjoyed the addition of lavender, but I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed the addition of the other flavors that came with it (more experimentation would be required to determine if this is true). (Recipe: http://www.paleoplan.com/2009/11-20/turkey-vegetable-meatballs/)
The disasters continued when I dumped an entire onion into the food processor instead of the 1/2 onion that the recipe calls for. Oops. Naturally, I realized this mistake about 3 seconds after I dropped the last bit of the onion in. Oh well. I like onions, so I figure it wouldn’t be a terrible addition as far as flavor. However, it made the final compilation very watery. Very VERY watery. So, as to be expected, this watery mixture refused to hold any sort of shape. Instead, it instantly formed short little mounds. You can see how that turned out…
The holes in the meat mounds came from the many times I took the temperature. The internal temperature just refused to get up to 165 degrees for the longest time. I’m not sure if it was because I messed up the recipe or if it’s because I have a dysfunctional oven or a dysfunctional meat thermometer, but they took WAY longer to cook than 25 minutes. I lost track of how much longer, but I wouldn’t be surprised it it was upwards of 45 minutes.
This is when I began my attempts to salvage the rest of the mixture by draining off as much excess liquid as possible. While waiting for Round 1 to finish cooking, I put the rest of the mixture in a colander, placed the colander in a bowl, laid a lid on top, and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. You can already see some excess liquid pooling at the bottom of the bowl.
It worked pretty well! I was able to extract almost a full cup of excess liquid. As you can see below, the meat/vegetable mixture held its shape a lot better for round 2.
The final results can be seen in the very first photo. Even with the lower liquid content, it still took about 45 minutes to cook.
And, for humor’s sake, here’s a visual sampling of the difference between Round 1 and Round 2:
This isn’t a very good reflection on the recipe since I failed to follow the directions properly, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the final results. The flavor was kinda “blah.” I wasn’t able to pinpoint precisely what the issue was. It may have been due to fact that I used of “Herbes de Province” instead of parsley. Or perhaps there’s too much vegetable and not enough meat. Or maybe too many different types of vegetables. In any case, I’m don’t think I’m going to attempt this one again any time soon…