celebrate me home

It seems like just yesterday I fell asleep anticipating December’s arrival. In a blink, I woke up and Christmas is only a day away! I’m not certain how the season arrived so quickly, but now begin the festivities as we say farewell to the year. The holidays are a special time for me, as I travel back home to be with close family & friends. There is no shortage of entertaining, and in our family that means a whole lot of cooking, baking, chopping—you name it!

With visitors in-and-out during the days to come, it’s nice to have a good repertoire of appetizers to serve. This year I wanted to create a winter recipe for hors d’oeuvres with a little holiday flare! With a bag of fresh cranberries in my stores, I wondered—what is something savory that might make for a holiday-suited app? Then I decided maybe cocktail meatballs, and who doesn’t appreciate a classic ball of meat now and again? By combining the cran with fresh rosemary and balsamic we achieve a tangy glaze fit for the holidays, and so we have Cranberry & Rosemary Meatballs. Time to enjoy great company and being home . . . Kenny Loggins and I sure think so—Celebrate Me Home.

For these I made a simple glaze on the stove with the cranberries, rosemary, balsamic and white wine. These are similar to one of my standard meatball recipes, but this time I’m also incorporating fresh & fragrant rosemary, dried mustard, garlic and shallot. I decided to brown them in a skillet and serve tossed in our glaze. This is perfectly portioned for a party starter, or even for a dinner if you make sides.

5 from 1 reviews
Cranberry & Rosemary Meatballs
Savory cocktail meatballs with a festive glaze of winter cranberries, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. Perfect for a holiday appetizer!
Serves: about 15 (1.5 inch) meatballs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
For the Pork Meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground pork (or pork sausage)
  • ½ shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 T fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • ¼ tsp dried mustard
  • ¼ cup dry bread crumbs, seasoned
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T butter (for melting in skillet)
For the Glaze:
  • 12-oz bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1.25 cups dry white wine, (1/2 cup divided, I use Chardonnay)
  • 1.25 cup water (1/2 cup divided)
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 T fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp fresh ginger, grated (and peeled)
What to do:
Make Cranberry Glaze:
  1. In a medium-sized pot combine cranberries, ½ cup water and ½ cup white wine, sugar, sea salt, rosemary, and heat on medium-low to bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally throughout.
  2. Cook mix until cranberries begin to burst & sauce thickens & then reduces (about 15 minutes), using back of spoon pop any cranberries that haven't yet burst).
  3. Once sauce thickens add the lemon zest, grated ginger, balsamic and add the additional ¼ cup wine and ¼ cup of water, combining and continuing to simmer on low (sauce should be semi-thick).
Make Meatballs:
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine ground pork, shallot, garlic, sea salt, pepper, ground mustard, rosemary, parsley, Worcestershire, bread crumbs, and egg, working mix weigh hands until well combined.
  2. Form smaller 1.5 inch, round meatballs with hands (my mix made 14 meatballs).
  3. In a large skillet melt 3 T of butter, and once pan is pre-heated, arrange meatballs about an inch apart and begin to cook/brown (you may need to do 2 batches if pan is small).
  4. Cook meatballs on medium heat, turn with tongs to brown on each side (~1-2 mins/side).
  5. Once meatballs are cooked through, in a large bowl toss them in desired amount of cranberry glaze, and serve warm.
These pork meatballs are an easy make ahead party appetizer, or make larger meatballs for a dinner portion and can be served with sides for a complete meal. The cranberry glaze if too thick, can be thinned out with a little additional white wine or water. The glaze and meatballs can be made a day ahead.

Cranberry Meatballs - 37I love meatballs with pretty much any sauce, but cranberry seems fitting for our winter holiday. What I like more, is this recipe can easily be made ahead—which means more quality time drinking eggnog at that ugly sweater party.

This Christmas, may you savor great moments, meals and memories with those you hold dear.

Happiest of Holidays to You & Yours!

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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