I'm following the autoimmune protocol and need a substitute for binding meatballs. Already tried it without eggs and my delicious meat chunks fell apart.
Is there anything I can use to make them more stable (without eggs, nuts, coconut, dairy and of course super-glue) ?
If anyone even has an inspiring idea for a meatball filling (autoimmune compliant) this would make me the happiest paleo on earth. ;)
I have not personally tried it, but I would think a bit of broth and ground up pork rinds could work. Using fattier meat or adding bacon fat and finely chopped vegetables would probably also help.
I have just made meatballs, no eggs, did not fell apart. My trick?
I bake them, not fry them. Ground turkey breast Ground onion, pressed garlic grated carrot (salt,spices,pepper, grated red pepper optional)
Mix everything, shape into balls, add sauce so it won't burn (I add water), cover and bake for 45 minutes.
Heston Blumenthal (Michelin starred UK chef) has an excellent principle for binding burgers together without the use of eggs, so I don't see why the same method couldn't be used for meatballs!
Essentially it just involves salting the beef for a good four hours before squidging 'em together, the salt acts like a tenderizing agent so that when the beef is moulded it adheres together and yet is still tender after cooking). I've tried it myself with burgers but have yet to downsize to balls.
Hope this helps! Prudence.
Hmm.. I don't use any binders anymore and can easily roll into shape with my hands, after seasoning and such, bake in the oven or drop into a liquid. I've done all proteins and they've all held up.
How big are you making them? Mine are usually not any larger than the size of a fifty cent piece. For a fat ratio maybe.. 85/15? Sometimes just salt/pepper, others I'll add aromatics and such.
Ok.. so... I wonder if you used gelatin if that would work, you know - the Great Lakes brand? I actually think that would be aces. Also off the top of my head to try arrowroot, tapioca or potato starch. GF flours. Maybe even smashed tuber as its on the dryer side. Smashed fine or run through a ricer, combined with the meat really well, then roll. My head is kind of thinking along the lines of gnocchi and how potato is utilized in there. Yes it has the eggs and flour but even without they hold up well. Sweet potato, too, as long as it's not a heavy moist one.
Maybe you can benefit from a one of my mishaps. I was making a recipe that called for corn starch as part of the marinade for some pork, before frying. I substituted tapioca starch in the same quantity--big mistake. When I popped the meat into the hot pan, the tapioca formed an incredibly sticky, stretchy, gluey mess. It was all I could do to salvage the dish.
So I'm thinking that a little tapioca starch will combine with the moisture, and under heat, form that sticky gel. Just enough might bind--too much might make really gluey, rubbery meatballs. Might be worth a shot with a small part of the batch. Good luck!
If the meat is reasonably well-mixed, and has some salt added, it should bind fine. In fact with finer ground meat, over-mixing can end up with surprisingly chewy results.
My guess is that you are not kneading the mixture or not adding salt.