Ah, yes – what my friend Irish Gumbo calls “gork balls” are making another reappearance. I’ve come to just love the combination of ground goat and ground pork for meatballs; they are just so unbelievably moist and tender.
This recipe came about because I was seriously craving some good ol’ Americanized Chinese food – sweet and sour something seemed to fit the bill just fine. I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of battering and frying that something, though, so meatballs sounded like a good idea. And if I was going to make meatballs, I might as well make my favorites, right?
The sauce was another matter all together; most recipes for a good red sweet and sour sauce are just loaded with brown sugar and commercial ketchup. It took a little thinking, but it occurred to me that the glaze from my Sweet and Sour Meatloaf could be tweaked. And I was right; this is as good as any Chinese takeout, and if you prepare the sauce while the meatballs are baking, it doesn’t take any longer than ordering Chinese takeout.
Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; this really is as easy as it is tasty – I served it over sauteed baby bok choy and it was just wonderful. If you don’t have the ground goat and/or pork, ground beef will work, or ground turkey if you prefer something lighter.
This also reheated very well the next day.
- 1 pound ground goat
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/3 cup onion, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1/2 large yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, thickly sliced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup Ketchup
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground goat, ground pork, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes with your hands until well mixed. Form into 30 meatballs, and place on a wire baking rack. Place the baking rack on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake the meatballs for 20 minutes, or they are just cooked through. Remove from
- oven, cover and keep warm.
- Heat the ghee in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers, carrot and onion to the pan and cook,
- tossing them in the ghee, for about 3 minutes, or just until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in the pineapple, tomato sauce, coconut sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar and mustard; simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Whisk the tapioca starch into the water; stir it into the sauce in the pan. Continue cooking, stirring continuously, until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute more. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce; stir to coat. Serve over riced cauliflower, steamed rice, or sauteed bok choy.
- Nutrition (per serving): 410 calories, 20.4g total fat, 102.9mg cholesterol, 984.4mg sodium, 1025.2mg potassium, 24.6g carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, 16g sugar, 30.7g protein.