With entertaining season upon us, I want to share with you one of our favourite recipes, perfect for a buffet or cocktail party. or serve it with rice for a main course, as this recipe makes an abundant amount of sauce. Combining two different types of meat gives the meatballs more complex flavour and seasoned with Chinese 5 Spice powder they are perfect with this sauce. Enjoy!
Ground chuck is available at your local butcher and is much meatier in flavour than typical ground beef.
HONEY GARLIC MEATBALLS
1 lb. (454g) ground chuck
1 lb. (454g) lean ground pork
2 large eggs
½ cup fine bread crumbs
¼ cup minced onion
2 tbsp. finely crushed or minced garlic
1 tbsp. Chinese 5 Spice powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup + 2 tbsp. beef broth
¾ cup brown sugar (not golden)
½ cup liquid honey
6 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1½ tbsp. finely crushed garlic
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a baking sheet with baking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the chuck, pork, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, 5 spice, 2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. Roll bits of the mixture into small meatballs approximately ¾-inch in size and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should have 45 to 50 meatballs. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 160ºF (71ºC).
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the sauce by placing the beef broth, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic and ½ tsp. salt in a medium heavy-bottomed pot.
Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. When it just starts to boil, stir constantly until it reaches a full rolling boil. It must reach a full boil to activate the cornstarch thickener fully.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the cooked meatballs on paper towel temporarily to remove some of the fat. Transfer the meatballs to a serving dish, cover with the sauce, and serve immediately, with or without cooked rice.
All the best of the holiday season to you!
Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4