Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce

Pork Meatballs


Lets face it, appearances do matter. You could make these Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce like any other meatball dish and roll the meat into perfect spheres but after seeing these why on Earth would you want to? Once your dinner guest set eyes on these golden pear-shaped meatballs they will have forgotten everything they learned in kindergarten about judging a book by its cover and decide right then that they love them.

They may not even care what they taste like. Heck, they may not even remember what they taste like.

Does it even matter whether or not I tell you that these Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce actually are delicious? Tell the truth, haven’t you decided already that these taste incredible? Haven’t you already pinned them to your “Things I Already Know Taste Amazing” Pinterest board? I did, but then I already know they taste, um, amazing. If you were the one who judged them purely based on their appearance then that would have worked out well for you. They are indeed sublime.  Lucky you.

Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce

Its like the time I purchased a very expensive bottle of wine for no other reason than I liked the way the label looked and thought it would enhance my table setting.  True story. And you know what? That wine turned out to be incredible.  Just like these meatballs.  So I get it that judgement based solely on appearance can be wrong, but isn’t it fascinating how often we are right?

For this dish the pork is just delicate enough to fully embrace the distinctive flavor yielded from poaching in the saffron-spiked cooking liquid. Once the meatballs are done egg yolks and splash of lemon juice get whisked in to finish up the sauce. The flavors suggest that incredible Chicken B’stilla we made a few years years back although these meatballs are a lot less trouble to make — even though the fancy presentation suggests otherwise.

Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce

Pork Meatballs with Saffron Sauce

This is what you will need:

  • 16 ounces ground pork
  • 2 ounces bread crumbs
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • zest of line lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 12 oz chicken stock
  • sage leaves, garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is how you make it:

  1. To make the meatballs put the port, breadcrumbs, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, cloves and 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Add the egg whites and mix together 6-18 well and divide into 16-18 portions.
  3. If desired, roll into pear shapes with one end being wider than the other.
  4. Heat a deep frying pan or enameled casserole and add saffron threads to let them toast gently and just for a moment.
  5. When you can smell them you are close to burning them so pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the meatballs and simmer gently, turning them every now and then to cook evenly.
  7. Cook for 30-45 minutes until cooked through.
  8. Remove meatballs from pan to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  9. Turn off the heat and whisk the egg mixture into the saffron sauce.
  10. Heat through gently while constantly stirring until the sauce has thickened.
  11. Correct seasonings as needed. Position meatballs on serving platter or plate them with white rice, etc. Pour sauce around meatballs and garnish with sage.

Pork Meatballs

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. I find the presentation of the um-meat balls to be of the utmost importance… These things do matter – they can’t just be haplessly handled, you know…

    You presented your meatballs in a most exemplary fashion – you should be proud!

  2. Love the idea of the shape with the leaf. Food that provokes conversation over “oohs” and “ahhs” for presentation and taste – is there anything better? Well done, on both fronts.

  3. www.passionandcooking.com says:

    Great recipe and great presentation. I love saffron but never tried with meat balls. Thanks for this recipe Trevor.

  4. How gorgeous – these meatball-pears are positivley Heston-like.

  5. I can’t think what these meatballs remind me of? Something … amazing. It’ll come to me! All I know is that I want to pop them right into my mouth!

  6. OMG! Spettacolose! Where did you get this idea? The saffron sauce, the pear shaped balls (oops – that sounds weird, but you know what I’m talking about), the cool little sage leaves that momic pear greenery. This whole ensemble is wonderful Is there a country of origin here or is the born of your own creative brain and considerable culinary skill, my man? Do tell all. La Crocetti MUST know.

  7. These sound particularly enticing. Maybe it is the saffron sauce? Or maybe it is the fact that I like meatballs every which way.

  8. But, but, you know they look like pears, right? GREG

  9. This looks awesome! Pear shaped pork?!! You are crazy genius!

  10. I love all of the ingredients in these. I mean…meatballs that look like pears? What’s not to love!

  11. Trevor, you have created the most unique presentation of meatballs ever…I have never seen any meatballs that remotely resemble your unusual presentation! Saffron adds a wonderful color and flavor to sauces – sure it was delicious.
    Have you had a chance to prepare the Cheesy Crème Brûlée yet – would be interesting to know whether you liked it.

  12. Wonderful looking meatballs…and such a gorgeous presentation! The saffron sauce sounds amazing! A great post, Trevor!

  13. That doesn’t just look amazing, it sounds delicious, too. Wonderful post!

  14. white on rice. pork, that is. How photographically clever – and delicious looking. Do you have the stop animation as well? I love pork – it’s so strange how some don’t. Something to do with a pig or something. I have never tried saffron though – just noticed how $$ it is. I might go to the bulk section and get a few threads to try this out! I can never look at pears the same way again.

  15. You should pair the meatballs with a wine that has a hint of pear…

  16. This recipe sounds & looks incredible- I must try it’d or my dinner group guests & luckily, I have a very prolific sage bush to assist me!