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1 pound Lepp’s ground beef (You can use a mix of beef and pork)
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs or 1/2 cup panko
1/3 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
A pinch of red pepper flakes or few grinds of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 large eggs
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 red pepper, chopped (or 1 cup mix of orange, yellow and green for color)
1 clove garlic, minced fine
½ tablespoon onion powder
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar (white is fine too)
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tin Dole’s Mandarin Oranges, drained (save the juice), lightly smashed
3 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with reserved orange liquid
Sesame Seeds for garnish
Green Onions for garnish
Place meat, crumbs, milk or water, parsley, cheese (if using), 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, onion powder, eggs and minced garlic in a large bowl. Mix all of this together with a fork, which does a good job of breaking up the eggs and chunks of meat or use your hands. Form mixture into 1 1/2 to 2-inch meatballs, and arrange on a plate. Set in fridge for 30 minutes, which helps them hold their shape.
To help form meatballs into a smooth ball, lightly oil your hands, adding another drop or two half-way, or rinse them in between a few times with cold water.
Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
For the Sauce:
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the oil, peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add onion powder, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar and sesame. Stir to combine and add the oranges and juice. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch and water together and then whisk into the sauce. Bring back to a boil then turn down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over meatballs with sesame seeds and green onions.
*You can also just place the meatballs in a slow cooker with the sauce for 3-4 hours.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, chopped red pepper and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add onion powder, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Stir to combine and add the oranges. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch and reserved orange juice together and then whisk into the sauce. Bring back to a boil then turn down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over meatballs and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
To freeze, place cooked meatballs and sauce in a disposal pan or baking dish, cover with foil, label and freeze. To serve, reheat until warmed through.