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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quarantine Meatballs

meatball ingredients

This post is by Matt, the Beer Baron

When she isn’t being awesome in the kitchen, the Clockwatching Tart actually works for a local health unit, which means she is incredibly busy at the moment. Between that and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, cooking has been a bit of a challenge lately. 

One thing that has definitely helped us out has been a delivery service from one of our favourite local restaurants, Grace. Rather than deliver actual meals, Grace has rebranded as Grace Pantry during this time of physical distancing and is using their connections in the food industry to deliver an amazing selection of locally sourced meats, produce and other tasty treats. You can check out their online store here.

When I was unpacking our very first order from Grace Pantry, I was blown away by how beautiful the ground pork from Stonecroft Farms looked. I wanted to do something special with it, so I decided to try a variation of my favourite recipe for meatballs from Anne Burrell. 

ground pork and ground beef

I don’t normally refer to ground pork as “pretty”, but there’s the evidence. For my version of the recipe above, I just omitted the veal, substituted dried parsley for fresh (we are in a pandemic, after all), and used more than a cup of parmigiano (pandemic or not, I like what I like). 

Another interesting note about cooking in the age of a pandemic is the absolutely bonkers number of onions I go through in a week. I suppose it is because I have all the time in the world, so I’m making everything from scratch, which often includes onions in one form or another. Luckily, I love dicing onions. I find it soothing and the OCD part of my brain enjoys the symmetry of the process.

While I love garlic, I wouldn’t call the process of smashing it with the flat blade of a knife soothing, but it is certainly satisfying.

making meatballs

When I have the luxury of time, prep work is my absolute favourite part of cooking. It’s obviously the OCD thing, but having nicely diced ingredients all out in their own little bowls or own their own little plates is a very satisfying feeling. 


While the Clockwatching Tart tends to individually weigh her meatballs on a kitchen scale, I opted to just eyeball it and am pretty proud of how they all turned out. I suppose I missed my true calling in meatball forming. C’est la vie.


Apart from quality ingredients, it is how you cook them that really brings out the flavour in these meatballs. Searing each side as best you can in the frying pan before they get finished off in the oven adds so much flavour.


These photos are about two weeks old as I write this post and oddly enough, we had some store bought meatballs for lunch today and I was so disappointed with them that I wanted to throw them out. That is how good these homemade meatballs are in comparison.

spaghetti & meatballs

Cheers to wonderful comfort food and finding the silver lining during strange times. (And a shout out to Grace Pantry for their awesome, contact-free delivery.)

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