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Pork in Meatballs

Asked by bidarlah. Answered on 27th July 2012

Full question

I love the sound of the meatballs in Nigella's book How To Eat, but the recipe calls for a mixture of beef and pork. I can't eat pork so what do you suggest as an alternative? Thank you!

Our answer

A mixture of pork and beef in meatballs is often used to slightly lighten the meatballs. Pork is a milder meat than beef and the slightly higher fat content in pork helps also to keep the meatballs moist.

In the US veal is often also used in meatball and meatloaf mixes and this could be used as a substitute for pork. However we would suggest that you use the "rose" type of veal which is humanely reared. As veal has less fat than pork you may like to add a tablespoonful of milk to the meatball mixture to increase the moisture.

Otherwise chicken or turkey could be used as an alternative. For choice we would suggest chicken thigh as this has slightly more fat than breast. But if you use minced (ground) chicken breast then again you may like to add a little milk to the meatball mixture.

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