Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Tuesday, July 15, 2014



Have you ever tried to make mouthwatering, light and airy meatballs, only to produce ones good for hockey game pucks? Me too. But not this time!  The leanness of the chicken and the sweet fatty pork combination put this recipe over the top. I think the secret is in the apple and onion additions. But the real secret: I used organic, free-range ground pork from Tracy Lee Farms.  And, I did not overcook the meat or fuss with over-mixing the meat mixture. Golden and delicious results!

I like this recipe better than my Oven Baked Turkey Meatballs recipe, because of the lighter texture and sweeter flavors that I developed in this recipe; however this recipe is more complex. It may also require a trip to your local co-op or farmer for the organic pork, which makes all the difference. This recipe depends upon it—as you know the finest ingredients deliver superb results.

THE JOY OF COOKING cookbook says that meatball and meatloaf recipes are interchangeable. So this recipe also works for meatloaf, if you want a simpler preparation. I have given a meatloaf preparation, below.

I've also included an awesome Mushroom Marinara Sauce recipe, for serving suggestions when making meatballs. 


1 pound organic ground pork
1 pound organic hand-chopped or ground chicken tenderloins
1  large handful fresh parsley
4 Tablespoons diced apple
1/3 cup diced onions

4-6 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine
1/3 cup ground flax meal

1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2Tablespoons organic wheat-free soy sauce
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using your hands, gently mix ground meat with dry spices, and flax meal.  Do not over-mix.
Puree apple, onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, wine, parsley, sesame oil, soy sauce and egg. I used an emersion blender.

Add the puree to the meat mixture and gently combine, using your hands.

Lightly spray 2 pans or casserole dishes with cooking spray. Form meat into 2 round loaves. Place loaves in pans. Top the meat loaves with 1 Tablespoon tomato paste (if desired.) Cover pans with foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Bake in preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Remove the foil after 15 minutes and continue to bake until done, about 20 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with the foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.   

Form into round meatballs, about the size of a baseball. (These are large--One meatball per customer. If you choose to make smaller meatballs, adjust the cooking and baking time accordingly.)

The meatballs will be quite wet. Place meatballs on a plate in refrigerator to set up.

Heat a cast iron Dutch oven or large pan with a small amount of olive oil on medium heat.

Brown the meatballs in batches. Do not over-crowd the pan. Treat them gently or they will fall apart.
Place browned meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook!

Cool the meatballs and refrigerate or freeze, in covered containers.

Warm meatballs for meal in marinara sauce and serve with organic brown rice pasta.


½ pound shitake mushrooms (or porcini or button)
½ cup chopped onions
5 chopped garlic cloves
Olive oil and clarified butter for sautéing
1 can San Marzano tomatoes (crushed or blended)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons  pesto sauce
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup dry red wine (Cabernet)
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon white pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil and clarified butter. Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened. Deglaze with red wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and reduce for a minute or two.  Add the spices, paste and tomatoes. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until flavors combine. Taste it! Do not boil.

Cook wheat-free pasta according to package directions.

Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add enough of the sauce to coat the pasta. Plate the pasta; add more sauce and a meatball.