Gingery Pork Meatballs in Gravy

Lately, I’ve been addicted to roast pork with dried fennel seeds added.  Then I started thinking about how pork meatballs would be.  Meatballs are great!  They’re wonderful as an entrée and appetizer also.  You get big flavor without spending a lot of money. 

I never add breadcrumbs to meatballs as it always seems to me that it makes the meat mushy and mealy.  Years ago when I was a teenager, my Mom, who was a great cook, asked if I would like to make spaghetti and meatballs for friends invited over for dinner.  I had made it before, just for my parents and myself though and it was great, so I told her I would cook the dinner.  Instead of using the meatball recipe I had used before, I saw a recipe that sounded good in one of Mom’s cookbooks so I tried it. 

After they came out of the oven, I sampled a meatball and was really upset.  They were soft and mushy!  I couldn’t believe it!  The only thing different was the addition of dried bread crumbs.  Mom said they were fine and it was too late to do anything about it anyway. 

Then I took Julia Child’s advice ~ “I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots and explanations over the food you make.  Such admissions only draw attention to it and then they think, “Yes, you’re right; it really is awful.”  You know what your guests do after you apologize for your flop --- they go to great lengths to reassure you that it’s fine.  Forget it!  Just eat it and act like it’s the best thing you’ve ever made or eaten!

I learned two important things from this cooking adventure ~ do not try a dish for the first time when company is coming for dinner and don’t add bread crumbs, oats, etc. to meatballs!

Maybe meatballs are just a tiny version of meatloaf and that’s why I like them so much!  These are really great meatballs; it has to do with the touches of ginger and fennel!  I served the meatballs and gravy over rice and then forgot all about taking a photo because we were hungry and wanted to eat dinner!

Gingery Pork Meatballs in Gravy

For the meatballs:

2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/3 cup onions, chopped
½ teaspoon dried fennel
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the gravy:

3 tablespoons drippings or butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt


For the meatballs:
Combine all ingredients well in a large bowl and form into meatballs.
Place on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until done.
Remove from oven, drain and reserve 3 tablespoons drippings.

Make the gravy:
Heat drippings or butter over medium high heat in a saucepan.
Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned.
Slowly pour in broth, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and whisk until smooth and thick.
Add meatballs to gravy and heat thoroughly.
Serve with noodles or rice.
About 6 servings


Be sure to enter my giveaway for Chef John Besh’s “My New Orleans” cookbook that was posted on October 29, 2010!

Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Cooking for her great recipes and cookbook giveaway!


  1. Any dish with ginger has to be good so I will give these a try. Diane

  2. I agree that fennel is a secret ingredient that adds a unique flavor to a dish. I love to roast it fresh with root veggies. So dang good! Hope all is well. Welcome November. Let the holidays roll!

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE meatballs. That looks delish! And I love that you used pork.

  4. My mom always added a little cracker crumbs, but not so much that it would make it mushy. The ginger added to the pork sounds delicious! I always use pork when making meatballs. Love it!

  5. The 'ginger' caught my attention! I love ginger, and these meatballs sounds great! Looks really good! I could just eat it as it is, dipped with a little spicy chili sauce, yum!

  6. How cool, and a great taste as far as ginger and fennel

  7. Looking good; I love the ginger in those meatballs.

  8. The best meatballs I've ever made included a panade, bread (not crumbs) soaked in milk and then so thoroughly incorporated into the meat that all it does is add delicacy and moisture. That being said, your recipe does sound lovely.

  9. I bet these would taste a lot like the pork filling in wontons. They sound like an excellent idea for dinner. By the way, don't forget to stop by my blog to enter my CSN giveaway.

  10. What a lovely recipe! My mouth is seriously watering...not a good thing! - must go find something to eat as I dream of your meatballs! :-)

  11. I agree with you on the bread crumb thing! These meatballs sound wonderful!

  12. Those meatballs sound delicious and Julia Child's advise is sensational.
    Big hug

  13. I love meatballs - but I've always used breadcrumbs! I'll have to try your recipe next time!

  14. Meatballs...I never think about making them, but I don't know why- everybody loves them, including me! I'll have to try your recipe now that I've got meatballs on my mind. :)

  15. Loved the meatball story and great advice about not apologizing for your mistakes. After all, you went to the trouble to make it!

    These sound great, Pam! I love the sound of the fennel and ginger with the pork.

  16. Unas albóndigas fantasticas, se ven deliciosas.


  17. I love pork meatballs, these sound great!

  18. These meatballs look fab and I definitely will try them! Love the gravy, too!

  19. I love making my own sausage, and used ground pork, I will bet this ginger makes these taste fabulous!

  20. Dear Pam, it's very good!... Happy birthday for your blog... Bye. Deborah

  21. I just made meatballs too. Some was used for mushroom & herbs pasta last night, and I kept some in freezer for later use. It's my favorite in oriental or Western dishes. :)

  22. Yum, these meatballs sound so delish. I can imagine that the ginger and fennel give them so much flavor.

    I love that quote. We should never apologize for anything we prepare.

  23. I like the idea of pork meatballs, much lower in fat etc. Hmm, I'll have to try them! I also love that Julia quote, I read it years ago and I thought it was brilliant! Of course anything Julia said or did was brilliant!

  24. I made some parmesean meatballs recently...I love meatballs, I'll have to geive yours a try1

  25. What good lessons to learn...and at such a young age! I imagine that the fennel adds some amazing flavor to these pork meatballs. I've actually never made meatballs before, but now I know a recipe to turn to! Thanks for sharing!

  26. What a great recipe! Blogging really changes your life. My husband asked me the other day if we were ever going to get to eat a hot meal again or were we always going to have to microwave it. He was laughing when he said it so I don't think he really cares.

  27. Diane, the ginger adds lots of tang to them.

    Corgidogmama, I like fennel roasted also. Can't believe the holidays are approaching so fast.

    Clements Family, thanks. Pork is a great versatile meat.

    The Sugar Queen, thanks and have a good day!

    Lyndsey, I agree with the cracker crumbs and always add it to meatloaf.

    kitchen flavours, thanks for the idea. These would be great with chili sauce!

    Jennifurla, I love fennel with pork. Makes it very tasty!

    Rita, I agree. Thanks!

    StephenC, thanks! Bet that does keep it moist without being mushy. I'll try it!

    Lisa, love wontons and this pork would work well.

    Avril, lol! They're worth dreaming about.

    Pam, great! No breadcrumbs here for meatballs.

    Annie, Julia said it like it is for sure!

    Deborah, I've never tried bread crumbs with meatballs since. Maybe it was just the recipe I used back then.

    Jess, thanks for the comment!

    scrambledhenfruit, we love meatballs. Easy and good!

    SavoringTime in the Kitchen, you got it! No need to make excuses for it even when the dish doesn't turn out as expected.

    jose manuel, gracias! Es deliciosa! Tener un buen dia.

    Abbey, thanks! They are!

    Marguerite, so good with the gravy and hope you try it!

    Pegasuslegend, the ginger really gives them a unique taste.

    il sapore del verde, thank you! I can hardly believe it has been a year already.

    Little Inbox, yes! I freeze them also and is great for a quick meal later.

    Cathy, thanks! I so agree!

    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes, yes! Julia was brilliant in the kitchen and her way with words!

    laurie, yum! Parmesan meatballs! Have a good day!

    Mary, thank you and thanks for the visit!

    Monet, you're right! You're right. I thought and probably so did everyone that the meatballs were horrible that day long ago. They were all eaten though and everyone said how good they were.

    Linda, lol! What would we do without micros? It's one of the best kitchen inventions next to the can opener and coffee pot!

  28. Hey Pam, my, looks like I am at the right place. I love to cook and looks like I could get some good ideas and tips over here so I am just gonna follow you around if that is ok. I am so glad you stopped by my blog, pop back over, I just set some good ole southern left overs out for everyone.

  29. They sound great! I have to admit I always use dried bread crumbs - but only 1 or 2 tbs. Not the usual amount.

  30. Yummy meatballs,lovely.

  31. delicious!! congrats on your blogoversary!

  32. Oh boy, pork and ginger AND gravy! booknmarking! I have been craving meatballs lately.

  33. oh, and i love fennel!

  34. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    It is nice to discover yours. I will have to spend some time with so many recipes to try. To start with these meatballs that look delicious.

    My son will love it.



Celery is as fresh and clean as a rainy day after a spell of heat. It crackles pleasantly in the mouth.... it should be eaten alone, for it is the only food which one really wants to hear oneself eat.
~ A.A. Milne, "A Word for Autumn,"

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