Molly Rose's Wild, Keto Meatballs

Posted by Dave Allee on

This recipe comes from our friend Molly Rose:

Dear Wild Fish & Game Eaters,

I’ve discovered the world’s best meatball...

The best thing about these meatballs is that what you think you might sacrifice in texture you gain in succulence and thus texture becomes a non-issue. Traditionally, meatballs are made with stale breadcrumbs as a binder to soak up any rendered fat and hold the meatball together. The crunchy bread gets soggy and acts like a sponge for both fat and juices from the meat thus synthesizing the succulence you might get from say a piece of brisket; done right, that’s what the mouth feel of a meatball should feel like. However, I can’t eat bread, so I had to find a replacement for bread as a binder in meatballs (or any meat shape you prefer, meat stars? Meat hearts? Go with God.). My discovery to the worlds best meatball started here: I’m doing the keto diet for a few months before I go in for some neurological testing. I actually don’t need to start it this far in advance, a week or two would have sufficed, but being the crunchy nut that I am, I’m running my own neurological health experiments on my body so I can provide the fancy medical expert specialist doctor with a myriad of homespun reports. I’m sure he’ll love it (not).

With the keto diet, if you’ve never done it, you basically limit your carbs to 50g per day and get your body to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates and glucose. By cutting out all refined sugar, all grains and breads, and pretty much all legumes, well, you’re a fat burning machine. It sounds hard **until** you realize you can eat unlimited cheese, unlimited meat (wild fish and game!), and unlimited cruciferous veggies. My first concern was, “Can I drink?” Yes, but take ketone tests to find out what works best for you (vodka has been my bestie) as one alcohol might knock you out of ketosis and have no effect (affect?) on another person.

As for the meatballs. I first made these recipes with chicken because it was the ground meat I had on hand and I needed a break from red meat and pork. However, sub anything you want for the meat — the seasoning should be versatile enough to get you where you need to go.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably anxious to know the secret binding ingredient: crushed chicharrones. Porky, fatty, crispy. Below I have a few ball, cake, and fritter recipes to max out your fat and protein macros and make use of some of that frozen wild game in your deep freeze.

Guajillo Lime Meatballs

  • 1 lb of ground meat of choice (ground chicken, bison, elk, bear, venison, duck even!)
  • 1 TBSP [Guajillo]( powder (link to buy)
  • 1 TBSP granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Cup crushed chicharrones
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup crumbled feta cheese *optional, I like the natural tang of feta cheese*
  • 1 TBSP olive oil / melted ghee *only if your meat is lean, like chicken or Turkey*
  • Sauce
  • 2 TBSP whole fat sour cream
  • 1 clove minced fresh garlic
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Guajillo powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Combine, form balls and bake or put in air fryer at 350 until internal temp reaches your meat’s specific requirement. 


French onion meatballs

Finely mince 1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Cook with 2T tallow or ghee over medium heat for up to 25 minutes or until the edges are dark brown and the onions are caramelized just past the point of translucent. Think In-N-Out onions.
  • 1 lb. of ground meat of choice (ground chicken, bison, elk, bear, venison, duck even!)
  • Onions from above
  • 1/4c minced flat leaf parsley
  • 2 TBSP minced tarragon
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon cracked fresh pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup crushed chicharrones
  • 6-8oz Gruyère cheese, cut up into small cubes, hold separate from meatball mixture

Combine everything but the cheese and form balls around a cube of cheese. Freeze for 10 to 20 minutes so that the cheese doesn’t sink to the bottom of the meatball. Bake or air fry at 350 until you reach your meat’s required internal temperature.

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