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Author Notes: This is great as an party appetizer (think Superbowl) or a casual dinner entree. In the winter, I cook them 75% on the stove and finish them in the oven so they don't get too browned on the stove top. For a big party if you're making a lot of them, I've refrigerated them after being cooked on the stove and then finish them in the oven 15 minutes before the party starts. The dipping sauce and Clementine Feta Salsa can be all made ahead. Weather permitting, I cook them on the grill. —TheWimpyVegetarian
Serves 18 small meatballs, but can be easily expanded
Spicy Pork Meatballs
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Saute the onions in the olive oil over medium-high heat. When they begin to soften add the garlic and sautee until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spices cook an additional minute to slightly toast the spices.
- Put the ground pork in a medium bowl and add the onion spice mixture and mix well with a large spoon.
- Make the sauce, some of which will be added to the pork mixture with the remaining sauce to be used as a dipping sauce. To make the sauce, combine the ketchup, BBQ sauce, hoisin, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl. Measure 2 Tablespoons of the mixture and add to the pork mixture. The rest can be used as a dipping sauce for the pork meatballs as an alternative to the salsa.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Form small meatballs that weigh one ounce, about 1 1/2" - 2" in diameter. If you're cooking them on the stove, heat a sautee pan with some olive oil and saute the meatballs until they are starting to harden up. Be careful not to burn them - the sugar in the sauce definitely increases this possibility. If using a meat thermometer, I cook them on the stove to about 125F.
- Remove the meatballs from the pan, let cool enough to handle, and skewer. Refrigerate now if you plan to finish them later. Place them on thick, rimmed cookie sheets like 'half-sheets' and bake until they reach about 170F (about 15 minutes).
- Serve with dipping sauce and salsa (recipe below).
Clementine Feta Salsa
- 10 clementine oranges, peeled, sliced and cut into bite-sized quadrants
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 serrano or jalapeño chili, seeded and minced (depending on how much heat you want)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves, minced
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Macerate the minced red onion in the red wine vinegar for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine the red onion with all the rest of the ingredients and serve with the pork meatballs.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs