Lately I have been eating quite a bit of pork. The other white meat is satisfying and I am finding great simple ways to prepare it. For example, these meatballs. They are quite awesome and kind of fun for a weekend project. My last couple of weekends have been kind of lazy so it's nice to have the occasional side project to work on. I am looking forward to my upcoming break to get some more cooking projects completed. Anyway, I made these a little over a week ago. I feel bad for not sharing them sooner because they are really good. At first, I was a little shocked by the lemony sauce, but after a couple of bites it became quite addictive. Also, you should know that the sage flavor is quite strong and adds a great savory dimension to the meatballs. My regular bread crumbs were not good so I ended up using panko which was fine. I served these with the garlic rice I mentioned in my last pork post. I am quite obsessed with it lately. This was perfect for a couple of work-week lunches and the leftovers only got better. Not that I am counting or anything, but I only have four and a half more working days before my two week break!! I am collecting tons of recipes to make during my time off. If you have any great suggestions, leave them in the comments.
Pork Meatballs with Lemon and Thyme
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Makes 2 generous servings
For the meatballs
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Lemon Thyme Sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
6 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Zest of 1/2 a lemon, to garnish
Roughly chopped thyme, still on stems, to garnish
To make the meatballs:
Put the milk and breadcrumbs in a small bowl and mix with a fork. When the crumbs have softened squeeze out the milk and discard it.
Gently sauté the onion in a little olive oil until it is soft but not colored. Season with a pinch of salt and set it aside to cool.
Combine in a medium bowl the pork, breadcrumbs, onion, half of the beaten egg, Parmesan, sage, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with hands thoroughly.
Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls. This can be done several hours or even a day ahead.
To cook, heat a skillet large enough to hold all the meatballs in one uncrowded layer. Add a little olive oil. When the skillet is heated, add the meatballs, shaking the pan to keep them from sticking. Using tongs to turn so they brown evenly, cook the meatballs until they are no longer pink in the center and lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the pan to a plate and immediately make the sauce.
To Make the sauce:
Remove meatballs from the pan, and deglaze it over medium heat with the chicken broth and wine. Simmer until reduced by at least a third. Add the lemon juice and thyme, then add the meatballs back in again as well.
Simmer until ready to serve - at least 10 minutes, but up to half an hour. Serve meatballs with the sauce poured over and garnished with lemon zest curls and thyme sprigs.