Meat Lucky

Now, I know you know about potlucks. Well, this past weekend, Joel hosted the second annual meat extravaganza / birthday party known as Meatluck.
Yeah, that's right. An all meat potluck. From appetizers to salads to mains to desserts, every dish had to have a meat element to it. Last year had some delicious and inventive dishes, but people really stepped their games up this year!

With over forty guests, and some people bringing multiple dishes (I'm looking at you, Danielle!), there was no earthly way I could taste everything. In fact, I was so deep in meat coma halfway through the evening, I didn't even get to photograph every dish, but I did my best. :)

Some of my favourites were Ben's Momofuku pork belly buns, Danielle's smoked brisket mac & cheese, Miranda's horse tenderloin and sweet mustard, and Bonita's wild rice stuffing. But really, everything I tried was ridiculously delicious.

For my offering, I was assigned an appetizer, and found a recipe for Food Network Canada's Christine Cushing's "North African Meatballs". I'm just going to take a moment to big up FNC's mobile app, which is what I used to find the recipes I used. And of course, I had to make small tweaks to the recipe, because that's just how I roll. To go with the meatballs, I used Ricardo Larrivée's recipe for mint yogurt dip. Man, I hand minced a lot of fresh herbs that day.

While they turned out pretty tasty, if I do say so myself, I thought the taste was more reminiscent of India than North Africa. And the mint sauce? I could have eaten that by itself with a spoon.


I upped the recipe by half and got about 40 mini meatballs. I also used ½ lb each of ground lamb, pork and beef (from Sanagan's) instead of straight beef.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 garlic, cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin, seed, toasted, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom, seeds, toasted, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground fennel
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 2 egg, whites
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal (red chili paste)
  • freshly cracked black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan. Sweat the onion and garlic about 5 minutes until soft but not colored. Add the spices and stir for 1 minute.

Put the mixture in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Blend it together with your hands and form the mixture into 15 patties (or as many 1 cm balls as you can get).

Heat another sauté pan over medium heat. Pour in enough olive oil so it is ¼ inch deep. Add half the meatballs and sauté about 8 minutes until browned on each side and cooked through. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Yogurt Mint Sauce

  • ½ cup plain yogurt (between 2% and 10% MF)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.


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