Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs

Oh, look – what my friend Irish Gumbo refers to as “Gork Balls” have made a reappearance.

We are really, really enjoying Pete the Goat.  In fact, the only bad thing I can say about it is there isn’t enough of him, so I’m not cooking it as often as we’d like.  And there is more ground Pete than any other cut, which is why you’re getting another meatball recipe.

I was kind of at a loss when I made this dish – I wanted to keep it Whole30 compliant, wanted to make something that wouldn’t take half the night, and didn’t want to make something that was just the same-old, same-old…although it occurred to me later that considering the number of curry dishes I’ve posted here, it sort of is the same-old, same-old.

Ah, well – we really like Thai food, especially Thai curries, in our house and this was a big hit; Beloved especially nommed it with much enthusiasm.  Despite the number of servings the recipe says – 6 – there were NO leftovers, and I heard complaints that I did not make enough.

I’d say that’s a big Thumbs Up.

Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs
Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs
Serves: 6
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground goat
  • 1 tablespoon lard or butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lard or butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste, or to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the lard or butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Using your hands, gently mix the ground pork, ground goat, onion/garlic mixture, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, ginger and sesame oil in a large bowl until well-blended. Form into 2-ounce meatballs and place on a shallow, foil-lined baking dish; bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, or just until cooked through. Place the meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  4. Melt the lard in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat and cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Whisk in the chicken stock and coconut milk until well-blended, then stir in the fish sauce.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce in the skillet, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Serve over steamed jasmine rice or steamed, riced cauliflower, if desired.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 520 calories, 39.9g total fat, 104mg cholesterol, 1332.9mg sodium, 820.8mg potassium, 8.2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.6g sugar, 32.8g protein.

If you can’t find ground goat, use 2 pounds ground pork. If you don’t eat pork, ground turkey will work well, or just use ground beef, although ground venison might be interesting, too.


13 thoughts on “Thai-Style Pork and Goat Meatballs”

    1. If you can’t find the ground goat (or are wary of trying it), just use all ground pork. Ground turkey or venison would be good for those who don’t eat pork, but you can always fall back on good ol’ ground beef if you want/need to.

    2. No need to be squeamish. Goat is just kind of in-between beef and lamb in flavor, and just a normal “meat” texture. The trick is finding it, and finding it for a reasonable price.
      From asking around I’ve found that most people who “don’t like” goat had it in a Caribbean dish, and in a goat book I read it said that those dishes are usually made from “mature” goats (like mutton is to lamb).

    1. For me, baking as opposed to frying mostly helps with the cleanup – I line a cookie sheet with foil, then place one of my baking cooling racks on top of it (I need to get some sort of use out of them), then place the meatballs on that. The fat that renders out collects on the foil, which I just throw away after it cools and congeals. It keeps me from having to drain the fat out of a skillet into some sort of receptacle, then discarding it. If this were a dish that wouldn’t suffer from the added fat of the meatballs swimming in the sauce, I’d just cook them in the skillet and call it good.

      1. Gotcha. I usually don’t make a sauce, more Swedish meatball style, just leave the fat in the pan and use it to fry up some veggies or something. The other day I used the leftover hamburger fat to make refried beans, yeah I know, legumes, no one’s perfect.

        1. I prefer pork fat for refried beans (we eat legumes occasionally – very occasionally – too), but that’s probably because I learned how to make them from a Hispanic woman (my ex’s grandmother), and that’s what she always used.

          Do you soak your beans before cooking?

    1. *snort* I hadn’t thought of that before, but you’re right – there’s sort of a poetic irony in that, isn’t there?

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