What to make with a big bowl of apples? This was my quandary. A crumble, a cake or other baked good were the most obvious. But then one of those would just get in my mouth. I’m not an applesauce fan so that was out. Apples and pork are a good match and I had ground pork and pork chops in the freezer. And I had tarragon. So, Tarragon Butter Pork and Apple Meatballs were born. Wholegrain mustard, cheese, garlic and onion also joined the party.Jump to Recipe
You can roll the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet and freeze them until they’re solid then pop them into a resealable bag or container. Or you could cook them and freeze them, storing them in the same way. The butter can also be made ahead of time. That’s if you’re planning on getting really organized. Of course you can just make them in the here-and-now. That’s usually how I operate.
Have you ever made compound butter? A mixture of butter and flavoring ingredients such as herbs, garlic, spices, mustard or sauces. Compound butter takes the place of a sauce on cooked vegetables and grilled, panfried and roasted meats. It’s very easy to make and the variation are limitless. Make a couple of different flavored butters then freeze to have on hand to joosh up a steak, roasted chicken or some steamed veggies. Try this Blue Cheese, Walnut and Thyme Butter or Orange Almond Butter.
I roasted the meatballs in the oven purely so I didn’t have to pay them any attention. If you don’t want to turn your oven on, pan fry the meatballs in a little olive oil, remove them from the pan while you cook the apples then add them back in with some extra butter. Oven-roasted meatballs require no extra oil or work apart from the washing up of a baking sheet and a wire rack. Nothing too taxing. Plus you can add some broccoli or asparagus to the oven to roast with meatballs.
Serve Tarragon Butter Pork and Apple Meatballs with mashed potatoes, rice or couscous. Mashed cauliflower or celeriac is an good lower carb option if that’s your gig. Do you like these new plates I bought today from Mercantile 37? Doing my part to support local businesses in this strange time. I’m sure you’re doing your part too. Toodles, Lovoni
TARRAGON BUTTER PORK AND APPLE MEATBALLS
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
PORK AND APPLE MEATBALLS
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or use what you have on hand
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese or any hard cheese of your choice
- 1/2 cup grated apple
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon, plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 apples, peeled and cut into wedges
To make the butter:
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Scrape onto parchment paper. Shape the butter mixture into a 5-inch (12.5cm) log using the paper as a guide. Roll up the log in the paper. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until firm. You can also use the freezer to speed things up.
To make the meatballs:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place a greased wire rack on the baking sheet.
- Lightly whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
- Add the pork, cheese, apple, onion, tarragon, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Mix until very thoroughly combined – using your hands works best for this. Roll into heaping 1-tablespoon balls. (makes about 36). Arrange in a single layer on the wire rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked.
- Cut off a slice of the butter and melt in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the apple and stir to combine. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes until softened but still holding their shape. Return the meatballs to the same pan and stir until hot, adding one or two extra slices of butter to coat.
- Serve the apples and meatballs with extra slices of the butter if desired. Serve garnished with tarragon leaves.