French Oven-Baked Pork Meatballs
Oven-Baked Pork Meatballs are a delightful twist on a beloved classic, reimagining the traditional dish with a blend of ground pork, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, and a medley of enticing flavors. These succulent meatballs come to life in the oven, allowing you to savor their rich taste without the need for frying.The foundation of these meatballs is high-quality ground pork, chosen for its rich flavor and juicy texture. Freshly minced garlic infuses them with a delightful aromatic kick, while eggs and breadcrumbs work their magic to create a perfect balance of moisture and texture.What sets these meatballs apart is the addition of a Provence spice mix, which introduces a symphony of flavors that include hints of thyme, rosemary, and marjoram. Fresh oregano and basil further enhance the fragrance and provide a burst of herbaceous delight.Whether enjoyed as an appetizer, a main course, or paired with your favorite pasta or sauce, these Oven-Baked Pork Meatballs offer a delightful twist on a classic dish, inviting you to revel in their succulent, flavorful goodness without the fuss of frying.
- 70/2 (oz/kg) ground pork (you can use also turkey, lamb, or beef mince)
- 4-6 garlic cloves or to taste (I use a whole garlic head)
- fresh greenery (oregano and basil leaves) to taste (I recommend a large bundle); you can use also parsley, dill, or coriander
- 2 eggs
- salt and ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp Provence spice mixture
- 2/50 (fl oz/ml) olive oil
- 7/200 (fl oz/ml) cold water
put the ground pork into a bowl.
finely chop, mince, or crush the peeled garlic cloves and add them to the bowl.
finely chop the greenery and add it to the bowl.
break the eggs and put them into the bowl.
season the ground pork with salt and pepper to taste.
sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.
add the Provence spice mixture.
add some cold water and olive oil, then combine the ingredients very well.
place the dish in the fridge for at least 1 hour to combine the flavors better (recommended.)
mix the mincemeat and make meatballs of the desired size – I recommend making medium-sized meatballs for the best results.
place the meatballs on a baking paper-coated tray or on a baking rack.
put the tray in the preheated oven at 250 C/480 F and bake the pork meatballs until golden brown (about 20 minutes), then flip them to roast evenly (about 10 minutes.)
stop the heat in the oven and allow the meatballs to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Cooking Tips for the Best Results:
1. Use High-Quality Ground Pork: Start with high-quality ground pork to ensure the best flavor and texture in your meatballs. Choose a blend with a good meat-to-fat ratio for juicier results.
2. Minimize Handling: When forming the meatballs, handle the mixture gently and avoid over-packing them. Lightly shaped meatballs are tender and succulent, while overworked meatballs can become tough.
3. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to the specified temperature before placing the meatballs inside. This ensures that they cook evenly and retain their shape and juiciness.
4. Use a Baking Rack: Elevate the meatballs on a baking rack while baking. This allows excess fat to drip away, preventing them from becoming too greasy and facilitating even cooking.
5. Check for Doneness: To ensure the meatballs are cooked through, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C). Overcooking can lead to dry meatballs, so monitor them closely to achieve the best results.
Can I substitute ground pork with another type of ground meat?
Yes, you can use ground beef, ground turkey, or a blend of ground meats if you prefer. Each type of meat will impart its unique flavor and texture to the meatballs.
What can I use instead of the Provence spice mix?
If you don’t have Provence spice mix, you can create your own by combining dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram. Use a pinch of each to achieve a similar flavor profile.
Can I prepare the meatballs in advance and bake them later?
Yes, you can make the meatballs in advance and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake. This can save time when preparing meals. Just remember to adjust the baking time if the meatballs are cold from the fridge.
Should I grease the baking rack when baking the meatballs?
It’s not necessary to grease the baking rack. The excess fat from the meatballs will naturally drip away during baking. However, placing a baking sheet under the rack can make cleanup easier.
Can I freeze the cooked meatballs for future use?
Yes, you can freeze cooked meatballs. Allow them to cool, then store them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags. When you’re ready to use them, simply reheat in the oven or microwave.
➡️ When you only have some minced pork on hand and a little time at your disposal or you don’t have the necessary disposition to cook a more complex dish, my recipe for baked pork meatballs still gives you the opportunity to prepare a delicious meal that everyone will like. Enjoy cooking oven-baked pork meatballs from scratch. For additional info, read more here.