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!