Passion for Pork

Pork Meatballs with Mandarin Orange & Fennel Sauce

Pork Meatballs with Mandarin Orange & Fennel Sauce


1 tsp + 1 Tbsp (20 mL) olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef
1 lb (454 g) lean ground pork
2 eggs
½ bulb roasted garlic, minced
1 cup (250 mL) bread crumbs
1 cup (250 mL) fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ketchup
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, approximately 1 cup
Zest and juice of 2 mandarin oranges
½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) water
¼ cup (60 mL) soy sauce
¼ cup (60 mL) orange juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
2 tsp (10 mL) flour
Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Add remaining meatball ingredients to the bowl and combine with a spoon or by hand. Form into 20 2? diameter balls and set aside. Meatballs can be made a day in advance as long as they are covered and refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and let cook until the onion begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Next, aside from the flour, add all remaining sauce ingredients into the pot. Once mixture comes to a bubble, reduce to low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is simmering, brown the meatballs. Drizzle remaining tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the meatballs (in two separate batches) and brown on all sides, cooking them for about 6-8 minutes per batch. Remove and place into a prepared baking dish.

As a final step for the sauce, sprinkle in the flour to help it thicken a bit, then salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the meatball-filled baking dish and bake in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Yield: 5-6
Cooking time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 60 Minutes

Approximately 5-6 Servings

Tags: ground pork | meatballs | orange | sauce |