I often joke that the real title for this blog should have been, The Lazy Chef. I love eating well, but I also love having food (magically) waiting on the table for me with minimal effort- particularly after a long day at the office. Because of the simplicity of the recipe, these rosemary- and thyme-scented pork meatballs are the product of both my laziness and the desire for a little something lighter during this pause between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Thanks to the egg and whole fat yogurt, these are deliciously juicy. I served them on a bed of simple fresh arugula with a drizzle of lemon-tahini dressing and a dusting of fresh mint.
The tahini sauce, I keep in the fridge and pour over roast vegetables, meat, or salads throughout the week. It gives the meatballs a spicy Middle Eastern flavor, but skipping the tahini and simply squeezing a fresh lemon over the pork and arugula would be an equally tasty shortcut option.
Pork Meatballs with Thyme + Rosemary
1 pound ground organic pork
1/4 cup whole milk plain yogurt
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
salt + pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
drizzle of olive oil
2 tablespoons/shmear of butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Gently sauté the diced yellow onion until translucent. Set aside to cool.
- Mix pork, yogurt, breadcrumbs and egg together until combined. Let stand five minutes.
- Add cooled onion, fresh herbs, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
- Add butter to a cast iron pan and place in the oven until butter is melted and coats the bottom of the pan. Tip: I used the same pan used to sauté the onion, which left a nice layer of caramelized bits on the bottom.
- Form into golfball-size bites and arrange in pan with roughly one inch between.
- Put in oven for roughly twenty (20) minutes, or until the inside temps at 155°F. Alternately, you may cook on the stovetop. This will result in less uniform meatballs, but gives it a buttery flavor.
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1 cup tahini*
juice from 1-2 lemons
1 head garlic
salt + pepper
pinch raw sugar
water, as needed
- Mix the tahini and the juice from one lemon in a bowl. This will form a very thick, almost chalky paste. Drizzle a bit of water, one tablespoon at a time, into the bowl until the mixture loosens and turns creamy.
- Using a microplane zester (or regular fine cheese grater), grate one clove of garlic at a time into the bowl until you reach the desired level of spice.
- Add salt, pepper, sugar, water, and additional lemon juice as needed. Taste as you go and stop when it tastes good. I prefer a nearly 1:1 ratio of tahini to lemon, but this might be too strong for some. I also added nearly a full cup of water, because I wanted a thinner dressing for salads. You can add less water for a thicker “dip”-style dressing.
- Store in a jar or tub in the refrigerator for up to one week. If the dressing thickens or separates, add more water and shake vigorously before using.
*Hint: Our local natural foods store sells organic tahini in bulk for a fraction of the price of the canned tahini in the stores. It is always worth checking to see if sold in bulk!
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