Tag: meatballs

Recipe for Meatloaf Meatballs With Mom Glaze

Lots of people have bad memories of meatloaf, but it’s always remained one of my favorite foods.

Growing-up, my mom always prepared the recipe from the back of the Quaker Oats box. She always spread a mixture of brown sugar and ketchup on the top of the loaf before baking and adorned it with strips of bacon. The next day, my favorite treat was enjoying cold meatloaf sandwiches. I think I looked forward to them more so than the meatloaf itself.

Food television really opened my eyes to different foods and watching people prepare familiar dishes in different ways than I’d seen at home. While my mom prepared meatloaf in a loaf pan, I’ve adopted the more freeform method of forming a mound on a pan that I first saw on Barefoot Contessa. My fondness of meatloaf led me to order it at different restaurants. Now, I don’t order it often anymore because I can usually make it better (or just as good) at home.

I’ll always remember the time I was hanging out at a grade-school friend’s house around dinner time. On our to grab our shoes at the front door, we wandered through the kitchen as her dad was making meatloaf. He was holding a big bottle of mustard and maniacally laughed as he squirted it to the meatloaf mix. My folks never added mustard to their meatloaf mix and so I made a mental note to try it someday when I had my own kitchen. Now I always add mustard to mine.

The real reason I turned my last batch of ground meat into meatloaf balls was because it was fun. That’s really all there is to it.

Meatloaf Meatballs With Mom Glaze
Serves two. 

Meatballs Pan

Ingredients:
1 lb ground meat (recommend pork and beef)
1 slice of bread soaked in milk
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, grated
Mustard
BBQ Sauce
Salt
Pepper

Sauce:
Ketchup
Brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
Chili powder

Instructions:

  1. Tear one slice of bread into tiny pieces and soak in milk. The bread will be easier to break down into a paste as it softens.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the ground meat, bread and milk mixture, parsley, minced onion, garlic, at least one good squirt each of mustard and your favorite BBQ sauce, and pinches of salt and pepper.
  3. If you’d like to taste-test the mixture for seasoning, cook a tiny bit of the meat in a frying pan.
  4. Form meat mixture into balls and bake at about 375ºF (or 350ºF in a convection oven) until mostly cooked through. You can flip them partway through cooking, too. *Our new place is equipped with a convection oven which cooks foods must faster than our old ones. 
  5. While the meatballs bake, mix together the sauce by combining ketchup, brown sugar, and chili powder.
  6. Glaze the tops and sides of the meatballs with sauce. Return to the oven until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce glazes. Add more sauce, if desired, and return to the oven for a few minutes.

My Take On Iowan Ham Balls Glazed With Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Pork tenderloin sandwiches, Maid-Rites, and Greek-style steak. These are all foods Mason City has introduced us to since we moved here a little over a year ago. Now we can add one more to the list:

Ham balls.

I remember seeing recipes for ham loaf in my grandmother’s church cookbooks and ham balls in Jake’s family cookbook, but I’d never actually eaten one until I moved to Iowa. Val of Corn, Bean, Pigs & Kids actually introduced me to my very first ham ball at a North Iowa blogger potluck. I liked them so much that I helped myself to seconds.

IMG_2189

My first taste of ham balls, courtesy of Val.

When I saw ham loaf mix for sale at my favorite butcher shop Louie’s Custom Meats in Clear Lake, IA, I felt inspired to make my own version. I combined a few different recipes and made a glaze with leftover cranberry sauce (yup, the canned stuff) which provided the perfect sweet and tangy counterpoint to the savory meat.

“Ham balls!?” exclaimed Jake, when he first caught wind of my dinner menu. He had never heard of ham balls before and was convinced he wouldn’t like them. As the ham balls baked, Jake commented on how “hammy” our house smelled and imagined I would serve him softball-sized chunks of ham. Not so.

As skeptical as Jake was about ham balls, he could not resist their charm. They were crusty on the outside and fluffy on the inside when I pulled them hot of the oven. They taste a little smokier than the typical meatball and hit all of our favorite sweet, savory and spicy cravings.

Spicy Cranberry Glazed Ham Balls
Inspired by Ken Enck & The Taylor House’s recipes for ham balls. Ham loaf mix seems to be equal parts ground pork and ground ham. It shouldn’t be too hard to find in Iowa, but if you can’t find it pre-made, try pulsing ham in a food processor and adding it to the pork. If you don’t want to use cranberry sauce in your glaze, use a different jelly or jam. I found other ham ball recipes that make the tangy glaze from canned pineapple, tomato soup, or brown sugar and vinegar syrup. 

Hamballs watermarked

Ham Ball Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. ground ham loaf mix
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup oatmeal
2-3 tablespoons minced onion
2 eggs, scrambled
3/4 cup milk
Black pepper, to taste

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Dash Worcestershire
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey (or brown sugar, to taste)
1/4 water
Hot sauce, to taste
Hot pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350℉.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ham loaf mix, panko, oatmeal, onion,eggs, milk and black pepper. It’s easiest to combine the ingredients by squishing them together with your hands. Allow the mixture sit for a few minutes so the breadcrumbs and oatmeal can absorb the liquid. If it’s still too moist, add some more oatmeal or breadcrumbs.
  3. Shape the mix into small balls. Place in a lightly greased pan in a single layer. It’s OK if they are close to each other.
  4. Bake for about 25-minutes.
  5. While the ham balls are baking, make the glaze. Combine the cranberry sauce, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, honey, water, and hot pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Gently heat and whisk until combined.
  6. If the sauce is too thick, add more water. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  7. Drizzle the sauce over the ham balls and return to the oven, uncovered. Bake for about 25 more minutes or until the ham balls are cooked through.

Three of my friends shared their best ham ball making tips. Jenny of In The Kitchen With Jenny makes Pineapple Ham Loaf Patties which she says are easy to make-ahead and freeze. Barb suggests using graham cracker crumbs instead of breadcrumbs and adding diced green pepper, while Shannon‘s favorite recipe combines both ground ham and ground beef. How do you make your favorite ham balls? 

Wini Moranville’s Pork Meatballs With Dijon Cream Sauce Are Too Good

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Wini Moranville & was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wini’s Pork Meatballs With Dijon Cream Sauce are too good, it’s true.

Jake and I know we’ve hit the dinner jackpot when we battle over leftovers. In this case, Jake won.

Wini is a writer, Des Moines Register columnist, and blogger who wrote French Cookbook La Chez Bonne Femme and The Braiser Cookbook. Last fall, I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Iowa Food & Lifestyle Blogger gathering in Iowa City. When she generously offered to let us enjoy her newest cookbook and choose a recipe to share, I jumped at the opportunity.

Braiser Cookbook Cover

The Braiser Cookbook is an e-book available on Amazon and it’s a steal at $2.99 (as of 10/18/14). I appreciate how all of the recipes are both elegant and approachable for the home cook. There really isn’t a recipe in this book that I’m too intimidated to try in my own kitchen. And guess what? I don’t even own a braiser. All of these recipes can be prepared at home without a braiser, and Wini provides advice for adapting them accordingly.

Jake and I have experienced a busier than any other in recent memory. We’re out-of-town more weekends than we’re home and crave warm, homecooked food after work. I gravitated towards Wini’s meat balls recipe because they were simple to prepare on a weeknight. The Baked Cabbage With Bacon and Apples she suggested as a side dish was also a breeze to prepare, but you’ll have to get her book for that recipe. I can’t be giving away all of Wini’s secrets.

The meatballs are actually made without any breading or filler. I was surprised by how moist and tender they tasted, since I’ve never prepared a ground meat dish without bread crumbs or oatmeal. They are delicate so Wini recommends flipping them gently with a large tablespoon. The sauce is rich with cream, but not overly so, as it is reduced with white wine and tangy mustard. Plus, the full cup of parsley adds a bright note. I bought ground pork at my favorite butcher shop Louie’s Custom Meats in Clear Lake, Iowa. It’s worth the drive from Mason City.

I only took one photo of these meatballs after we had filled our plates. We enjoyed our dinner so much that there was just no time to pause for photos. “I’ll take more tomorrow, when the lighting’s better,” I swore. But alas, when I came home from work they were gone. I could hardly blame Jake, though, because if I had beaten him home from work, I would have eaten them too. The lesson we learned from this dish is that if you really love something don’t ever let it go.

For more photos, check out In The Kitchen With Jenny’s post.

Pork Meat Balls With Dijon Cream Sauce
This recipe is a collaboration between Wini Moranville & Chef David Baruthio of Baru 66 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Wini's Pork Meatballs text

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds ground pork
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups heavy cream

Instructions: 

  1. In a bowl, mix together the pork, parsley, egg, garlic, salt & pepper. Go easy on the salt because the mustard is salty and tangy. I added about 1/2 teaspoon. Shape into about 12 meatballs.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 3 1/2 quart braiser until the oil shimmers. I used a large saucepan with deep sides and a lid.
  3. Add the meatballs to the hot oil and cook until lightly browned. Flip and cook the other side of the meatballs until they are also lightly browned. This should take about six minutes total.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are browned on each side.
  5. Remove meatballs from pan and drain off all of the oil except for a sheen.
  6. Increase temperature to medium
  7. Cook onions until tender but not brown.
  8. Add the wine and cook, stirring up the loose bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce wine to about 1/4 cup which should take about three minutes.
  9. Whisk in the mustard. Add heavy cream and cook, stirring until the sauce is reduced to about one cup.
  10. Return meatballs to pan and simmer until they are cooked through (160℉).
  11. Per Wini’s recommendation, I served the meatballs with her Baked Cabbage With Bacon & Apples. It’s also easy to whip together. Let the cabbage bake while you cook the meatballs. I like to add splashes of red wine vinegar for some tang.

Connect With Wini:
Facebook for DSM Food Lovers: All Things Food DSM – Wini Moranville
Facebook for France Lovers: Chez Bonne Femme
Blog: ChezBonneFemme.com
Twitter: @winimoranville

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