Monday, December 14, 2009

Pork Meatballs with Lemon and Thyme

Pork Meatballs with Lemon and Thyme

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.

Printable Recipe

Stumble Upon Toolbar


vanillasugarblog said...

great now I'm hungry. I LOVE when you make meatballs. J'adore this flavor-combo.

Gaby said...

omg I am currently obsessed with pork, and its all because of Kevin from Top Chef (I love him). These meatballs sounds AMAZING!! Lets have a potluck with these and tons of wine... I'll bring the vino :)

Erica said...

I love panko- I use it in place of bread crumbs in almost all recipes I have that call for bread crumbs (or I'll use a half and half mixture). The meatballs look great and the sauce sounds really interesting. Hooray for your upcoming break!!

Maria said...

Lemon and thyme go so well together.

Jenn said...

Perfect little appetizers or put it into a sandwich. Yum yum!!!!

Gastronomer said...

Pork is the greatest meat ever!! Glad to hear you've been cooking with it lots ;-)

I highly suggest making the bacon maple scones during your two week vacay. They won't disappoint! Promise.

Esi said...

Dawn, I think I am gonna do another meatball thing next week ;)

Gaby, YES!!! I will totally bring these to a potluck. Name the time and place.

Cathy, those biscuits are first on my list :)

Diana said...

With all these pork recipes, I may have to start calling you Kevin from Top Chef. :)

MyLastBite said...

Looks lovely!

Simones Kitchen said...

I am developing a thing for pork too ever since I found out that there is actually tasty pork around... I previously had only supermarket dry and terrible pork, but now found that it's goooood. Your meatballs look fabulous and with the lemon and thyme that sounds very interesting too!

Unknown said...

i don't make nearly enough meatballs! and this flavor combo sounds like it knocks it outta da pahk :)

daxphillips said...

Pork. The other white meat, or typically the one the only meat commonly served in my house. :) Sounds great.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

This is a great dish full of flavors.

angela@spinachtiger said...

This is an interesting combination. I like the lemon twist.

Fresh Local and Best said...

These meatballs look so refreshing and rich with all of those herbs and Parmesean cheese.

Mary Bergfeld said...

The meat balls sound wonderful, but your lemon-thyme sauce is what grabbed me. It sounds delicious.