Italian Style Pork Meatballs
Who doesn't love a good meatball? They're great on top of spaghetti, in a tangy sauce for a cocktail party, or as is with some hearty marinara sauce.
We recently harvested our hog that we raised so there is pork-a-plenty in our freezer right now. Normally I would like a combination of beef and pork but this time around I decided to make my meatballs out of just pork.
I started out heating up some extra virgin olive oil and sweating onions until just translucent in a pan. Salt helps this happen quicker and brings out the flavor. Then add a palmful of dried thyme to really give it that deep flavor. I deglazed with a little red wine, chicken bullion (I love Better Than Chicken Bullion in everything since I first discovered it last year) and a splash of worcestershire sauce. When the alcohol cooked down I added a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste. It should look and smell a little like ketchup (it won't taste like it though, don't worry).
Set the onion mixture aside to cool. Next put your ground pork in a bowl and gently break apart. Add an egg, about a cup of Italian style bread crumbs, and the cooled onion mixture. Gently mix together. I use a fork to start mixing and then dive in with my hands. You do not want to over mix. If it feels just a tad too loose, add a little more bread crumbs.
Next portion out your meatballs. I wanted mine slightly larger today since I was topping off our spaghetti but normally I make them about an inch in diameter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place meatballs on a baking sheet or in a large cast iron pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, rotating meatballs about halfway through the cooking time. They are done when they are dark brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
I threw mine on top of spaghetti for a quick and delicious weeknight meal. Enjoy!
Italian Style Pork Meatballs
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a small white onion, diced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Better Than Chicken Bullion
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb ground pork (or beef or mixture of pork and beef)
1 large egg
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
salt, pepper, garlic powder
Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. When hot, cook diced onions until translucent. Add salt to help sweat onions out. once translucent add thyme and cook 30 seconds. Add teaspoon of chicken bullion and worcestershire sauce. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until alcohol cooks out, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat, mix in tomato paste and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine ground meat, egg, bread crumbs and cooled onion mixture. Gently combine being sure to not overwork. Using your hands, roll into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls and place on baking sheet or cast iron pan.
Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, rotating meatballs 15 minutes in. Serve hot.