Cherry Stuffed Meatballs

Picture of Cherry Stuffed Meatballs
Turkey meatballs with a surprise inside.
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Step 1: Season meat

Picture of Season meat
Combine the following:

2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 c bread crumbs (the dry canned ones)
2 eggs
few cloves garlic, grated (to your taste; I used around 8 big cloves)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2t teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (or thereabouts)
lemon zest
pinch dried thyme, oregano, basil, allspice, etc

Other potential ingredients: parmesan cheese, hot peppers, finely chopped fresh herbs

Mush the ingredients together in a big bowl, then find some dried cherries.

I used dried bing cherries from Trader Joe's, but just about any dried cherries will do so long as they're not overly sweet.

Step 2: Form meatballs

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I went for roughly golf ball sized meatballs; pick your favorite size. If you make them much bigger, consider putting multiple cherries in the middle.

There are two standard techniques:
1) gather up half the meatball, add the cherry, then add the other half of the meatball.
2) gather up enough turkey for the entire meatball, then squish the cherry inside and cover the hole.

I used technique 1, as shown below. Either way, make sure to make nice, tightly-squished meatballs.

Step 3: Pan Fry

Picture of Pan Fry
Pan fry the meatballs in a bit of canola oil, turning them to brown on all sides.

You're not cooking them all the way through; just browning the exterior.

Fish out and save the crispy bits that fall off in cooking- they're fantastically tasty.

Step 4: Bake

Picture of Bake
Add your pan fried meatballs to a canola-oil-sprayed pan, and stick them in the oven at 400F.

They shouldn't take too long to cook- check after 10-15 minutes, or when the oil on the bottom starts popping. Test by cutting into a large meatball; when the internal meat isn't pink, they're done.

These look really great. It might be tasty to swap out the cherries for dried cranberries, too.
trebuchet038 years ago
Out of curiosity, because I've never made meatballs from scratch, how would I make these in a slow cooker... I just don't want them to fall apart :)
To make meatballs in a slow cooker, you need to brown them first. End of story. Dust them with flour, or not, and fry them (in small batches). Then (using a slotted spoon) throw them in the slow-cooker (sauce already hot), top with the lid, wash your skillet, and man will those suckers be amazing in a coupla hours. You can follow canida's simmering soup recipe - make sure the soup is simmering actively. It works well - but meatballs dropped into soup will be softer than the seared-then-slowcooked ones. Man. I am wishing I wasn't a vegetarian. I miss meatballs tons, hence I've looked at them twice today online. ;-)
So that's how they do it :p Thanks :)
canida (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
I don't really use slow cookers, so can't say anything terribly useful. I'd be worried about them falling apart too. Most of my meatball experience says to cook them individually, and only add them to a liquid or sauce very late in the game. However, I've dumped small raw meatballs directly into simmering soup pots before to good effect; this presumably worked because 1) they didn't cook terribly long, and 2) the simmering soup kept them from sticking to the bottom or each other and turning into mush. Hopefully someone else will have slow-cooker insight.
I guess it wouldn't hurt to experiment :) If all goes "wrong" -- I'll make a meat sauce :)
Kintri8 years ago
hi i recently tried making IKEA style swedish meatballs but I don't get the same texture. Is it because I only fried them and didn't bake them after browning? Is there a difference if you bake them?
Looks tasty. That fork reflection is really hot and distracts from the savory picture.
canida (author)  fungus amungus8 years ago
Yeah. Look at that yummy food!
Crash21088 years ago
I like where you're going with the fork action. You could probably do some pro shit. You should keep the fork centered in the shot, though.