Savory Meets Sweet in These Tasty Meatballs with Blueberry Sauce

June 28, 2016

Sweet and savory come together in these scrumptious meatballs.  Chef Daniel Mattern uses ground bison meat (a healthier option to beef) and serves them with a so delicious Earl Grey-infused blueberry sauce for dipping. Serve on a festive plate with frilly red toothpicks for the perfect Fourth of July appetizer!

Bison Meatballs with Blueberry Sauce
Courtesy of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Makes 24 meatballs
For the Meatballs:
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup finely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ¼ pounds ground bison  

For the Sauce:
1 cup steeped Earl Grey tea
1/3 cup dried blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 piece star anise
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

To make the meatballs:
Step 1.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes, until translucent.   Add garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 minute; let cool.

Step 2.  In a large bowl combine breadcrumbs , milk, egg, cilantro, salt, pepper and allspice.  Add bison and onion mixture. Mix until blended.  Roll into 1-¼  inch balls.

Step 3.  In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil.  Brown meatballs in batches, transferring to a large baking pan.   Cover with foil to keep warm.

To serve, drizzle meatballs with sauce or serve sauce on the side for dipping.

To make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine tea, dried blueberries, sugar, anise and salt; bring to a simmer and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Stir in frozen blueberries; increase heat to medium-high, bringing to a boil.  Let boil for 3 minutes.  Stir in vinegar. Remove from heat and set aside.