Fennel Orange Pork Meatballs with Sweet Chili Glaze

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fennel orange meatballs with a sweet chili glaze, sautéed fennel & radicchio, fresh orange slices, feta cheese, toasted almonds, and herbs

serves: 4-6

  • Author: Kayla Howey



Fennel Orange Pork Meatballs

  • 4 oz grainy bread
  • olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • kosher salt

Sweet Chili Glaze

  • 12 red fresno chilis, sliced (depending on how much heat you like)
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Vegetables & Toppings

  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
  • fresh chives
  • fresh mint


Fennel Orange Pork Meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Take the bread and cut it into small cubes. Place the bread into a bowl and cover with 1 cup of hot water. Let soak for 8 minutes until the bread has softened and absorbed the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the shallot. Let sauté for a few minutes until tender. Stir in the garlic, orange zest, fennel seed, ground coriander, and red pepper flakes. Lower the heat to medium-low and let cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  3. Add the ground pork, soaked bread, shallot mixture, and a generous pinch of salt to a mixing bowl. Mix well until fully combined. Form the mixture into approximately 16 (2 oz) meatballs.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, work in batches to sear the meatballs on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to a sheet pan. Once they’re all seared, place the meatballs into the oven and roast for about 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Reserve the skillet with the meatball drippings to cook the vegetables.

Sweet Chili Glaze

  1. Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the slightest bit of oil, along with the red chilis. Cook for a couple of minutes until tender.
  2. Add the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and molasses.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until the glaze is reduced and syrupy, stirring occasionally.

Vegetables & Toppings

  1. While the meatballs are in the oven and the glaze is reducing, heat the skillet again over medium heat. Add the sliced fennel. Season with a pinch salt. Sauté until tender and caramelized, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Stir in the radicchio and season with a pinch more salt. Let sauté for just another minute or so until the radicchio is slightly wilted, but still has its color.
  3. Transfer the fennel and radicchio to a large serving platter. Place the meatballs right on top. Spoon all of the chili glaze over the meatballs. Garnish with the fresh orange slices, crumbled feta cheese, toasted almonds, a sprinkling of fresh chives, and fresh mint.