I realize I’ve posted quite a few meatball recipes lately, but here’s to hoping you’re not tired of them! I found this great recipe for pork-sage meatballs with a lemon-thyme sauce and decided to share it. (For those who need more convincing, it’s a recipe adapted from Chez Panisse.) I served it with improvised latkes, since it was Hanukkah and all. Great meal! I used a baking sheet and cooked the meatballs in the oven, because I needed the stovetop for the latkes, but either way is fine. Since I then didn’t have the pan to deglaze for the sauce, I ended up using cornstarch to have it thicken a little for serving.
½ cup milk
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb ground pork
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
pinch of cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
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 coloured. Season with a pinch of salt and set it aside to cool.
Combine in a medium bowl the pork, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, parmesan, sage, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Mix with hands thoroughly. Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls.
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.
1 ½ cups chicken broth
¾ cup white wine
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
roughly chopped thyme, still on stems, to garnish
Remove the 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.