Mini Meatballs Québec Style
December 24, 2010
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In Québec the New Year is often welcomed in with a meatball stew called Ragoût de Boulettes de le Jour de l’An. Here I have adapted it, sans the boiled potatoes and beets that traditionally accompany it, as a Christmas hors d’œuvres. And while the meatballs are usually simmered in the broth I have baked them and made only enough sauce to keep the warm for service.
Makes 84 meatballs
- 1½ pounds pork, I use loin
- 1 pound beef, I use eye round
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- ½ cup fine bread crumbs (or pulverized corn flakes for gluten free)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- ½ tsp. mustard powder
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1tsp. ground cloves
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup cold water
- ¼ cup flour (white rice flour for gluten free)
Preheat the oven to 400° (375° for convection). Grind the pork and beef together first using a coarse blade then again using a finer blade. (Or you can use store-ground meat.) Put the pork, beef, chopped onion, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves into a large bowl and mix well.
Lightly oil two half-sheet pans. Form the meat mixture into ½-ounce meatballs, about ¾ inches in diameter, and arrange on the sheet pans. Bake in the hot oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.
To make the sauce, first toast the flour in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat or in the hot oven, stirring often to keep from burning. Mix the toasted flour into the cold water. Bring the chicken stock to a boil then add the toasted flour and water mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
The meatballs can be made ahead of time but make the sauce just before serving and warm the meatballs in it for a few minutes.