This time of year folks are looking for a great appetizer that can be served for New Year’s Parties, and for the football games. This Pork Meatball w a fennel touch will do the trick. It also is a great use of fennel. I have been asked frequently about how to best use fennel, and this recipe is a great starter.
· 1 pound lean ground pork
· 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
· 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
· 2 teaspoons toasted fennel seeds
· 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
· 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
· 1 small onion, finely sliced
· 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely shaved
· 1/2 cup dry white wine
· 1 teaspoons ground fennel
· 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
· Crusty baguette, sliced on the bias to serve
Combine the pork, garlic, and fennel seeds in a large bowl and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well then form into approximately 14 2-inch round meatballs. Set on a tray in the fridge to firm up while you prepare the braising sauce.
In a large Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic, onion and fennel. Cook until onions and fennel are very tender and lightly caramelized - about 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper then add ground fennel seeds. Deglaze with white wine and pour in tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
Set a large saute pan over high heat and add vegetable oil. When very hot, brown meatballs all over, about 2-3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meatballs to the Dutch oven and nestle them in sauce. Cover slightly with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes until very tender. Serve with toasted baguette points.