Meatballs are a fun dish, whether you serve them as appetizers or as part of a main dish. And they become something you can toss together regularly when you take advantage of a crockpot or slow cooker and some of your favorite jarred sauces:
I opted to use gluten free bread crumbs and sauces, but if that isn't a concern for you, feel free to use other options available to you. This version is entirely gluten free and was served as a main dish over steamed rice. They'd also make fantastic tail-gating appetizers or part of the offerings at a potluck. With all kinds of just-in-time-for-fall happenings going on, it's nice to have a versatile entertaining recipe like this on hand.
Make sure you get really fresh ginger. Since it's a slow-cooked dish, the flavor of your ginger really infuses the meatballs and the sweet and tangy sauce. Also, because ground pork has gotten ridiculously expensive in my neck of the woods, I opted to buy a less expensive pork butt roast and grind my own meat for these. It also meant I had about two-thirds of the roast in one piece to roast later for carnitas. Feel free to do the same. Hard to argue with that logic!
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2/3 cup toasted bread crumbs -- I used gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 T. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. red pepper -- choose your spice level
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoon tamari sauce
- 1 cup barbecue sauce -- I used Sweet Baby Ray's
- 10 oz. fruity Asian sauce -- I used San-J's orange sauce
- Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish (optional)
Combine the pork, bread crumbs, garlic powder, red pepper, and egg in a large bowl; mix gently but thoroughly with your fingers. Roll into 1-inch balls. Brown lightly in a nonstick skillet before spraying a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add the meatballs. In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, tamari sauce, barbecue sauce, and fruity Asian sauce; pour over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.
Cover and cook on low until meatballs are cooked through, 2 to 3 hours. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.
- Yields: 8 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus slow cooking time