What happens when you combine two popular tailgating foods? You end up with saucy, spicy and poppable Carrot Habanero Duck Meatballs.
It’s the classic story (or is it?) buffalo wings and meatballs line my plate at the party. I finish the wings but there is extra sauce on my plate, so I casually move a meatball or two over to swish it around into that buttery, spicy sauce for a quick coating on my beloved meatball.
Mmmm. . .that tastes good. . . it would taste even better if it was cooked this way from the start. This would certainly be a cleaner way to eat and enjoy the buffalo flavor not to mention a fun way to experiment. Think of all the meats you can meatball, beef, bison, turkey, chicken and duck.
Hold on duck? Uh yeah! What? You only though duck was sold whole or in the form of breast? You were wrong, if you have a meat grinder you turn anything into ground meat. Who has the time for that though? I don’t, so luckily the folks at Maple Leaf Duck Farm do and thought of our need for ground duck. Did you know this a cut that’s nearly impossible to find? I know because I’ve looked.
Seriously though the possibilities are endless once you start with a bit of ground duck, especially because it’s a meat that loves bold flavors. Think burgers, meatloaf, homemade sauce, chili.
I wanted meatballs though because it’s the perfect food to prepare in large amounts for a party or for tailgating. Make them golfball size or a smidge smaller for little one bite eats.
With my duck meatballs in hand the decision to “buffalo sauce” them, I had to figure out exactly what that sauce would be. Sure the traditional Franks and butter is delicious for a good reason. But it’s duck, shouldn’t we be doing something special? Now you know I’m not a hot food person but sauces at Intensity Academy are good, it’s run by an awesome saucy woman (yeah female entrepreneurs!).
Carrot + Habanero + Duck just screamed for the perfect saucy answer.
- 1 medium carrot, peeled & roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled & roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1lb ground duck
- kosher salt & black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or ghee
- 1/3 cup Carrot Karma Hot Sauce (carrot habanero hot sauce)
- Place the carrot, onion and garlic in your food processor and pulse 7-10 times until finely minced. Transfer to a small saute pan and cook the mix with a small amount of oil until it begins to sweat and soften, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool slightly.
- Mix in the ground duck, egg and about 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium to medium high heat and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of neutral oil or duck fat in the center.
- With wet hands, form golf ball sized meatballs into the frying pan to cook for approximately 7-9 minutes per side. Make sure to cook the meatballs in batches and not crowd the pan, add more oil if necessary.
- In a small saucepan heat the butter until it melts and the hot sauce.
- Toss the cooked meatballs with the hot sauce mixture and serve immediately.
The meatball mix is very wet. If you are having trouble keeping it together feel free to add some breadcrumbs into the mixture until they hold.
Make sure you stop by and enter the great giveaway for #10DaysofTailgate, including 2 dozen cookies from moi!
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What a FANTASTIC combination of flavors – love it!!
Betcha can’t eat just one! these little flavor bites sound so temptingly good.
love meatballs and this recipe sounds like a winner
Oh my, these look DELISH!! Perfect meatlballs for tailgating!
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WOW Susan, those look and sound amazing!! I sure wish I could find duck in this teeny little town 🙁
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