As I was reflecting on the recipes I have written for this blog, I realized there haven’t been any appetizer recipes yet. I have mainly focused on entrees and side dishes, though there have been a couple of desserts.
As more holiday parties are coming up, I thought we would all enjoy having a nice appetizer to add to our repertoire. These meatballs will be a great way welcome guests to your home, or are a perfect addition to a potluck.
You may want to tinker with this recipe a little, depending on your tastes. You can change the flavors by trying different fruits in the braising liquids. You can also try using different sodas to adjust tastes.
- Heavy braiser or skillet with lid
- Immersion blender
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 lb. mild Italian sausage
- 1 lb. ground beef (You don’t want to use meat that is too lean, I used 80/20 fat blend)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp. onion powder
- 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. hot smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, or butter
- 1 ripe mango
- 1 fresh jalapeño
- 1 can 14 oz. canned tart cherries, undrained
- 1 12 oz. can soda, I used Coca-Cola
- Corn starch, optional
- Honey, optional
- Add lamb, sausage, ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, and spices to large mixing bowl.
- Using your hands, gently mix ingredients together. Everything does not have to be evenly combined, being careful not to overwork the meat. Over-mixing causes tough meatballs.
- Form balls about 1.5″ across by pinching off a small quantity of meat mixture and rolling into a ball in your hands. You want to keep them about the same size.
- Once you have formed the balls (about 3 dozen), place them in freezer for about half an hour to firm up.
- While the meatballs are in the freezer, dice mango and jalapeño.
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Melt coconut oil in braiser and sear the outside of the meatballs in batches until they are all browned on the outside.
- Add mango and jalapeño to braiser, sauteing until they are both soft.
- Add can of cherries with juice and soda and stir to combine, scraping bottom of the pan.
- Place meatballs in liquid, cover and bake in oven for 45 minutes.
- Once meatballs are cooked through, remove from oven. Take meatballs out of liquid and set aside.
- Heat braising liquid over medium heat, and blend until fruit is broken down and sauce is smooth, using immersion blender.
- If you want a thicker sauce, you can add a little corn starch and blend. A little honey will also give the sauce a bit of sweetness.
- Add meatballs back to sauce and simmer until ready to serve.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, and serve with leftover sauce.