Hot Honey Meatballs
Spice up your life with this tasty pork meatball dish! We've taken a classic meatball recipe and given it a kick of spice and covered them in a delicious sweet honey hot sauce. This recipe will make 16 large meatballs and will feed four adults when served with pasta/spaghetti.
To make the meatballs you will need:
- 500g of lean minced pork
- 1 egg
- 80ml of fresh milk
- 60g of panko bread crumbs
- 60g of grated cheese
- 2 tsp of garlic puree (or finely chopped/crushed fresh garlic)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp of ground paprika (you can use sweet or smoked paprika if you prefer)
- 3 tbsp of vegetable oil (for frying)
To make the hot honey sauce you will need:
- 50g of unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp of hot sauce (Tabasco, Encona or your favourite hot sauce)
- 50g of Just Bee Original Honey
- A pinch of salt to taste
To serve with pasta, use around 260g of pasta to feed four adults
- Spaghetti, tagliatelle, linguine or pasta of your choice
Step One: Preparing the meatballs
- In the mixing bowl add the panko breadcrumbs and milk. Give them a little stir around then leave the breadcrumbs to absorb the milk for a couple of minutes.
- Now we simply add all the other meatball ingredients except for the pork mince. Add the egg, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and paprika into the soaked breadcrumbs. Give it all a mix around until it's roughly combined.
- Next add the minced pork. Just break it up in your fingers and once it's all in the bowl, use your fingers to gently mix it in together with the other ingredients. Don't worry too much about it being completely mixed in, just don't over do it. The rough mix will add some nice texture to the meatballs, it doesn't need to be blended into a mush!
- With your hands bring the meatball mixture together into a ball and put it on a chopping board. Using a large knife cut the ball in half, then half again, giving you 4 even pieces. Form those into 4 balls and do the same again giving you 16 even sized pieces. Roll those gently in your hands to make 16 perfectly sized meatballs. (Top Tip: if you want to keep some meatballs for another day, you could pop them in the freezer now)
Step Two: Cooking the meatballs
- Put the oven on gas mark 5 or 190c (for a fan assisted over reduce to 170c). We'll be frying the meatballs to brown them and to finish them, but partly oven baking them is a great way to ensure they are fully cooked through while also making the process of timing and serving much less stressful.
- Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large frying pan, add the meatballs and fry on a medium heat until they are nicely browned all over. You can use tongs or a fork to move them around gently. This should take around 5 or so minutes. Once you have some nice browning on the meatballs put them on the baking tray and pop them in the middle of the oven. Put the frying pan aside but don't wash it up, we'll be using it again later.
- You can almost forget about them now until it's time to serve. About 10 minutes in the oven is usually perfect for them to finish cooking through and it's not a coincidence that 10 minutes is around the time it will take to cook the pasta and create the sauce. If you need to delay serving for a short time, you can simply turn the oven down low and the meatballs will be fine for a little longer.
Step Three: Making the hot honey sauce and cooking the pasta
- Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet, if it takes 12 minutes, that will be perfectly fine, a couple of minutes either way won't matter.
If you are using fresh pasta that only takes a few minutes to cook, then just delay the following for 6 or 7 minutes. (Time for a cuppa!)
- To make the hot honey sauce coating for the meatballs, simply add the butter, honey, hot sauce and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan and heat gently. Stir occasionally with a spatula or spoon until it's all melted and mixed together. There's no need to heat the sauce any more than is needed for the ingredients to melt together. Once it's all melted together, turn off the heat and leave it for now.
- By this time the pasta should be getting close to done, so take the tray of meatballs out of the oven (you can cut into one gently to check they are fully cooked if you want to be certain). Add a single tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and return the meatballs to the pan on a medium heat. Once they start to sizzle and you are happy with the browning (it won't take long to add a little more colour at this stage if you wish) pour all the honey hot sauce over them from the saucepan. Toss the meatballs around until they are all covered and have a lovely shiny glazed look to them. Once they are at this stage, turn the heat to the lowest setting just to keep them hot while we serve.
Step Four: Serving up
- Drain the pasta and dress how you prefer. I like to toss mine in a little olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper before plating up. There's so much flavour in the meatballs and hot honey sauce I don't personally think you need much else, but feel free to go with your own preference.
- Place the meatballs on the pasta bed and drizzle the plates with any remaining hot honey sauce that's left in the frying pan. It will be deliciously sweet and sticky now and you won't want to waste it!
Notes and ideas
This recipe was envisioned with a family meal in mind and while there is some heat from the hot sauce and chilli flakes, it is not too over-powering for those that don't enjoy very hot food. This is especially true when served with plain pasta. There's also a lot of sweetness from the honey and buttery goodness to balance the recipe. It's not all heat and no flavour, I would encourage everyone to try the recipe as it is and adjust the amount or type of hot sauce to taste if necessary.
As well as pasta, our hot honey meatballs can be enjoyed as part of many other meals, they are really great with chips and peas as a tasty alternative to sausages.
This is a delicious low cost meal that's fairly quick and easy to make. 500g of lean pork mince from ASDA is only £2.50, the Panko breadcrumbs are £1.25 (Panko can be found near the stuffing and gravy in most supermarkets) and a bag of pasta can be bought for as little as 70p. If you have some of the other ingredients in the cupboard already it's a very economical meal to make, working out at only around £1.50 per head.