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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 pouch 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.