Recipe: Chef Brad Smoliak’s Ukrainian Meatballs
For the past three years I’ve had the pleasure of attending Indulgence, one of the hottest events on Edmonton’s food scene. The event brings local chefs together with local producers, who are then tasked with creating a dish paired with a wine from a Canadian winery.
Chef Smoliak humourously called his dish Bubbles and Balls: Irving’s farm fresh bacon and ground pork mixed with cabbage and rice, rolled into a ball and simmered in tomato sauce and paired with Benjamin Bridge Brut Methode Classique.
Since the dish is made with rice instead of breadcrumbs, this gluten-free girl was able to indulge in one, or two, servings of bubbles and balls.
You can pick up a hard copy of the recipe in the 2015 July-August issue of The Tomato – Edmonton’s Food & Drink Magazine, who first printed and shared the recipe. Huge thanks to Chef Brad Smoliak and Mary Bailey of The Tomato for re-sharing the recipe with Passion for Pork.
½ cup ground bacon ends (4 oz.)
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp kosher salt (may need to add more depending on saltiness of bacon)
½ tsp coarse black pepper
1 cup ground back bacon
1 cup cooked short grain rice
Cook ground bacon over medium low heat just till the fat starts to render out. Add onions and cabbage and cook for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables start to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat until all the vegetables have cooked down and the mixture is a deep rich colour. Remove from heat, chill until cold.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, mix together the cooked bacon and cabbage mixture with the ground pork bacon, egg and rice, mix until well combined. Pan-fry a little patty to see if seasonings need to be adjusted. Adjust with salt and pepper if need be.
1½ cup chicken stock
2 cup canned tomatoes (La Pavoncella – just saying)
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white sugar
½ tsp marjoram
Place all ingredients in pot, and simmer until reduced by half, to smooth out the sauce use a stick blender.