Pork, Apple & Chard Meatballs (Paleo/AIP/Whole30)
So many meatballs, so little time. That could be the tagline for this blog. 😂
The reason I sing their praises often: meatballs are awesome. Straight off the pan, submerged in sauce or gravy, nestled into noodles (even the grain-free types), swiped through a snappy condiment, anchoring a bowl of soup, or rolled up in a tortilla or flatbread. Mmph. They pack a big flavor punch, are beyond easy to make, and are perhaps the world’s most perfect make-ahead/batch-cook protein.
Plus they’re so cute! Meatballs just make people happy, you know?
…Pork, Apple & Chard Meatballs. Ta da!
These are close to – but not quite the same – as a version I present in Project Vibrancy Meals (PVM) meals plans, and they are well-loved. In the meal plan, I have you float them in butternut squash soup with crispy sage and a drizzle of spicy vinegar. It’s a good idea.
The vinegar comes from the pickled chiles (or pickled ginger for AIP folks) I have you make as you batch cook for the week and is an EXCELLENT example of how to use homemade, super-fresh condiments to turn simply prepared food into WOW food, fast.
So let’s talk condiments for a sec! I’ve shared my free 3 Kickass Condiments PDF with you guys already (if you don’t have it, grab it here). The feedback was, More please! Write a book please!
And so, I am! Or an e-book. I’m keeping it VERY simple. I’m calling it The Complete Kickass Condiments by Project Vibrancy and I’m going to start selling it next week! If you want to make sure you’re on my email list to be notified, sign up for the 3 Kickass Condiments PDF I mentioned above. (If you’ve already downloaded it before, no worries – you’re on my list.)
I recorded this Facebook Live today talking about how to use condiments to pull together fast meals. (If you’re not on Facebook, you can catch it here on YouTube.)
I’ll be in touch in a few days. Until then, you should definitely make a double batch of these meatballs; one for dinner, one for the freezer. Enjoy!
Pork, Apple & Chard Meatballs
NOTE: If you are doubling the batch and planning to freeze the meatballs, cool them to room temperature and transfer to a freezer bag. Press all air from bag, label the bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, place frozen meatballs in a warm (300 degree) oven until heated through.
1 pound ground pork (substitute chicken if you prefer)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (substitute mace for AIP)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
Freshly ground black pepper (skip for AIP)
2 slices bacon, diced finely
1 cup finely chopped Swiss chard leaves
1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into very small dice
2 scallions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork (or chicken for Pork Free), arrowroot starch, nutmeg (or mace for AIP), thyme, oregano, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper (skip pepper for AIP). Using your hands, mix gently. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until fat is rendered but bacon is not browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to cool (retaining pan drippings). Return skillet to the heat.
Add chard, apple, and scallions to the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and sauté until almost tender, 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer chard mixture to the ground pork (leaving behind the cooking fat). Add bacon to the ground pork and using your hands, gently mix to combine. Roll mixture into 1-inch meatballs, setting on baking sheet as you go.
Bake meatballs for 20 minutes or until just cooked through. Serve hot.