Nobody is sure where the meatball originated and early recipes are difficult to find. It's easy to ascertain though, that meatballs as we know them, made with ground meat, were not possible until meat grinders were invented. Early meatballs would have been made from leftovers and hand-shredded. Or pounded with a heavy object and minced with primitive tools.
Food history tells us that meat was rare across the world and was enjoyed mostly by the rich. It was precious, so it can be assumed that it was never wasted, and no parts of a cut of meat or the leftovers would have been thrown away. Simply put, meatballs was a way to utilize this extraneous meat and squeeze another days' meal from it, not to mention another days' nutrition.
The type of meat prepared as meatballs was varied and influenced by geography. In China, for example, the mainstay was the pig, so their meatballs were likely made from pork. Similarly, in North Africa the Berber were shepherds of wild sheep whose fatty tales were prized. Whatever the meat, whatever the region, many recipes indicate some form of meatballs across the globe.
Pork Meatballs With Sauce
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (18 oz) barbecue sauce ( I used honey barbecue sauce)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. In mixing bowl, add ground pork and remaining ingredients, except barbecue sauce. Mix well ( I used my hands to mix). Shape into 1 inch meatballs, making sure all meatballs are the same size. Place on baking pan about a inch apart. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in center. In a large nonstick skillet, add barbecue sauce, then add cooked meatballs. Simmer until heated through. Stir occasionally. Enjoy!
Note: Take one meatball and cut in half, just to make sure they are done.