Skip to main content

California Kurobuta Bloody Mary Meatballs

If ever there was a cocktail that was no-fail, the Bloody Mary - and all its variations - would be it, for me. I don't think I've ever had a bad Bloody Mary; I mean, I've had some that are phenomenal and, obviously some are better than others. But it's pretty tough to screw up spiked spicy tomato juice, right?

So when I saw a listing for a Bloody Mary event later in the year, I decided to see how else I could use those flavors that I love in something other than a drink. Don't get me wrong, I will use this event as an excuse to try my hand at making a Bloody Geisha (swapping in sake for vodka), a Brown Mary (whiskey instead of vodka), a Green Mary (using tomatillo juice instead of tomato), and so much more!

But I started with a meatball variation because we had gone to a party and two of mine didn't get to try any of the meatballs I brought. I had some ground pork from my friends at California Kurobuta Pork. You can read the article about Jack Kimmich in the Winter 2016 issue of Edible Monterey BayHome on the Range by Rosie Parker. Jack's Bacon Bus parks in a local parking lot on the third Monday of every month. And I try to head over there whenever I can.

The Kimmich's Berkshires live in pastures and wooded areas and enjoy with unlimited access to pasture plants, cattails, dirt, bugs, grubs, and roots. They supplement the pigs' diet with seasonal fruits, nuts, and vegetables from neighboring farms and local grain processors. I always smile at the photo on display in the bus of the pigs eating local apricots during the summer.

Ingredients serves 4 to 6

  • 1½ lb ground pork (I used California Kurobuta pork)
  • ½ C almond meal (you can use breadcrumb if you prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T prepared horseradish
  • 2 T tomato chutney (you can use tomato paste if you prefer), divided
  • 1 to 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t hot sauce (adjust to taste, I used sricracha)
  • 1 t ground smoked paprika
  • 1 t ground sweet paprika
  • ½ t ground coriander
  • 2 C tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C beef broth 
  • 1/4 C vodka (you can use more broth if you want to avoid the alcohol)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Place ground pork, almond meal, egg, horseradish, 1 T chutney or tomato paste, garlic Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, both paprikas, and coriander in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to incorporate all of the ingredients together. Set aside.

Place tomato sauce, beef broth, and vodka in a large rimmed pan. Whisk together and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Drop walnut-sized meatballs into the sauce and cook until firm to the touch, approximately 15 minutes. Try not to overcook them.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the meatballs from the sauce. Turn the heat up to high and reduce the sauce by half. It should be thickened to the consistency of ketchup. Remove from heat and add the meatballs back into the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.

Toss to coat with the sauce, then turn the meatballs out onto a serving platter. Serve immediately. You can also serve these at room temperature.


Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa