My kids are in love with the meatballs I make from pastured pork. I get this tasty, nutrient dense meat courtesy of a local farm where the pigs are free to run around outside in sunlight that is rich in UVB rays which pigs use to produce Vitamin D.
These happy hogs compare with the unfortunate and miserable animals from huge hog confinement operations known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). Believe it or not, a single CAFO building housing confined pigs might hold 1,000 or more sows or 10,000 or more market hogs! These poor animals don’t even have enough room to turn around in most cases!
Do you want your pork to come from these animals? I sure don’t! There’s no way I want one red cent of my food dollars to go to the companies that treat animals this way not to mention that this type of industrialized farm is detrimental to the environment and the food produced from it will not compare with the nutrition from hogs living outside in the fresh air and sunlight.
When you make the effort to obtain truly pastured ground pork from happy hogs to make meatballs, you will be delighted to discover very little seasoning is required as the taste is fabulous and rich all on its own.
These pastured pork meatballs can be served alone with veggies cooked in butter (my usual way) or can be used for that occasional bowl of spaghetti and meatballs if you desire. Another idea is to slice them in half, add a homemade marinara or pizza sauce, melt some cheese on top and serve on sourdough buns.
Leftover meatballs are great to pack in lunchboxes the next day too. My problem is that most of the meatballs are gone so fast I don’t have hardly any leftovers. I had to practically arm wrestle my teenager to snap the picture above before all the meatballs were gone from the baking pan!
Pastured Pork Meatballs
Makes about 30 meatballs
1 – 1 1/2 lb pastured ground pork
2 slices sourdough or sprouted bread
1/4 cup traditionally brewed soy sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Place bread slices in a food processor and pulse until you have made bread crumbs.
Place ground pork in a bowl and mix in bread crumbs and egg with your hands. Add sea salt, pepper and soy sauce and mix again.
Form meatballs with your hands slightly smaller than the size of a ping pong ball. Place meatballs on a stainless steel baking pan or a glass baking dish and bake on 350F until browned and thoroughly cooked (about 40 minutes).
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist