Iberian Meatballs

Book Club was coming up, and I was hunting for a little sumpin’ sumpin’ different to serve, when I came across a nice recipe for Spanish meatballs.

Thing was, it called for some seasonings that are not my favorites, as well as ground pork and veal.

See, ground pork is simple to find out here, but ground veal is a stretch.

Then, I got to thinking…

I had some of my favorite Portuguese style garlic sausages (Linguiça) from a local market, the aforementioned ground pork, and enough other spices and seasonings that I thought would taste like the region, and set to work.

Note: all linguiça is not the same! Some Wisconsin sausage makers have stuff they call linguiça, but it is way too smoky. These sausages, from my local Jewel, taste the most like the linguiça I could get in southeastern Massachusetts, which has a huge Portuguese community.

•1-1/4 lb ground pork
•20 oz Portuguese sausage
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 cup gluten-free panko crumbs
•2 eggs
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/2 tsp allspice
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp black pepper

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Heat your oven to 350º and line two rimmed baking pans with heavy duty foil.

Place the eggs, garlic, panko crumbs, Sherry Peppers Sauce, and seasonings in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until nicely blended. Set aside to rest for five or ten minutes.

Note: just before making the meatballs, I had used the processor to chop dates, raisins, prunes, and pecans to make a Date Roll for the get together. Instead of thoroughly cleaning out; I decided that any little bits of dried fruits and nuts would only add to the overall flavor I was building.

Slice into the sausages and remove the casings. Add to the food processor along with the ground pork and pulse until well and truly blended.

Using a scoop, portion out your meatballs and arrange in a single layer on the baking pans. I used a two tablespoon scoop and ended up with 31 meatballs total. If you’d like to use these as a most excellent cocktail appetizer, go ahead and use a smaller scoop. Just remember to mebbe adjust your over all baking time.

My two baking pans will not fit in the oven side by side; so I placed one on the bottom rack and one on the upper rack, and set the timer for 23 minutes.

Once the timer beeped, I flipped the pans and gave the meatballs another 23 to 28 minutes, until the kitchen was smelling really good, and they were nicely done.

Remove from the oven and set aside to rest while you make the sauce.

Oh, yeh, about that sauce?

It is wicked simple and really far too tasty to share a post with the meatballs that are perfect with it, so…

Check that out, tomorrow!

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