Christmas is almost upon us and we have had a fun time testing out recipes for party friendly food this month. To round out the series, today we are featuring some tasty meatballs full of mouthwatering flavors. Meatballs are a great party food. You can make them in advance. You can freeze them for later use. They are perfectly bite-sized and the flavor possibilities are endless. And they are fun to eat!
I chose pork for these meatballs because it is my favorite meat and pairs really well with the other ingredients. If you are not a big pork fan, you could substitute boneless chicken thighs. Don’t use chicken breasts because they are too lean.
Since I started using the meat grinder I am not a fan of buying ground meat anymore. It is so easy (and economical) to buy a huge cut of meat and just process it through the grinder. It also tastes a lot fresher. I got a pork butt for this recipe because I wanted a meat that had some fat in it. Because fat is flavor! To give you an idea of how large a cut of meat you should buy: a 7.25 pound butt with the bone-in yielded 4.5 pounds of ground meat. The bone itself weighed almost 1.5 pounds. You could certainly buy a boneless cut of meat to make it easier. You don’t want to go crazy and trim all the fat away. A little here and there will result in a juicy meatball, which is what you want.
In previous posts using the meat grinder, we have talked about the benefit of chilling the meat and metal attachment parts before grinding. This will result in a quick and easy grind with ideal texture: no smashed or gummy meat.
While the meat and metal parts chill out in the freezer, this is an excellent time to gather all the remaining ingredients.
Once the meat has chilled, assemble the grinder attachment. See HERE for pointers on how to assemble and care for the grinder attachment. Make sure you turn the Ankarsrum base on the highest speed to grind the meat.
After the meat is ground, gently mix the rest of the ingredients in. The meatballs might seem a little wet but don’t worry, the coconut milk prevents them from being dry once they are cooked. Use a large spoon or scooper to portion out the meatballs.
These little guys cook up pretty quickly. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan when browning them.
Once the meatballs are all browned, they just need a quick 15-20 minutes in the oven to finish cooking. If your skillet won’t hold all the meatballs, just place in an oven-safe pan like a casserole dish to bake them.
While they bake, you can whip up the dipping sauce. I used fresh mango to balance out all the salty and savory flavors of the meatballs. The sauce is as easy as tossing everything in the blender and pureeing up. If you can’t find ripe mangoes, you can substitute 2 cups thawed-out frozen mango.
I hope you all enjoy the holidays and these recipes. We’ll see you in the new year!
Garlic Ginger Meatballs with Mango Dipping Sauce
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
2 pounds trimmed pork butt, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
4 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno (seeds removed according to heat preference)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut milk
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs*
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Mango Dipping Sauce:
2 medium sized mangoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
Place the cubed meat and metal parts of the meat grinder attachment in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While the meat chills, prepare and gather remaining ingredients.
Set up the Ankarsrum base with the meat grinder attachment and medium sized grinding disc. Place a large bowl underneath to catch the freshly ground meat. Turn the speed to the highest setting and feed the cubed meat through the grinder using the plunger.
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the sesame oil, to the ground meat and gently mix until combined.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a disher or large spoon, scoop out approximately 2 tablespoons of meat mixture at a time and form into meatballs.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown half the meatballs. Remove the meatballs. Add in the remaining tablespoon of oil and brown the remaining meatballs. If your skillet is large enough, add all the browned meatballs to the pan. If not, place in a large oven-proof dish. Place in the oven.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove meatballs to a paper towel lined baking sheet to cool briefly.
Serve warm with mango dipping sauce.
Place all ingredients in the blender attachment. Blend on high speed until thoroughly combined. Serve with meatballs.
Yield: 33 meatballs and 1 1/2 cups sauce
*Gluten-free or whole wheat panko breadcrumbs are readily available in most grocery stores.
Mixer color featured: Matte Black