Use Any Kind of Ground Meat in This Spicy Meatball

Whole chickens and boneless pork butts might be hard to get at the moment, but there seems to be ground meat aplenty, at least on my last market run. I stocked up, and am now reaping the meatball-shaped rewards.

One benefit to making meatballs is that you can use just about any meat. The same recipe will usually work whether you’ve got beef, pork, lamb or turkey on hand, or even vegan meat.

Another great thing is that, if you change up the seasonings, you can eat meatballs often without getting tired of them, confident that those cumin-laced, kibbe-inspired orbs dunked in a tahini sauce will taste totally different from the Parmesan-spiked Italian versions.

After defrosting some ground dark meat turkey, I decided to go the sweet-and-savory route, glazing the meatballs with a 1950s-sounding mix of soy sauce, marmalade and red-pepper flakes. They were tangy, a little spicy and very satisfying.

Form them into 1 1/2-inch balls, drizzle with oil, and broil on high, 4 inches or so away from the heat source, for 5 minutes. While they’re sizzling away, stir together a glaze of 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and acid (lime or lemon juice or vinegar), a teaspoon of fish sauce if you have it, a big pinch of red-pepper flakes and 1/4 cup any kind of marmalade (or use apricot jam, or really, any jam, except strawberry, which would be weird). If the fruit in your jam is in big pieces (like thick-cut orange), chop it up.

Brush or spoon the glaze on top of the meatballs and broil for another 2 to 4 minutes or so, until the glaze is tinged with brown and bubbling, and the meatballs are done at their centers. Top with some herbs if you like, and the sweet and brawny juices from the pan.


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