So, I, like everyone else, love a good meatball! I got the inspiration for this recipe from a Seattle burger place called Lunchbox Laboratory. Their Dork Burger is duck and pork ground together to make one tasty burger! I tweaked the recipe to suit our needs and added some herbs to brighten the flavor and texture. We also slathered the meatballs in a smoked paprika tomato sauce. You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce or homemade. I just saute a little extra garlic and sprinkle in some smoked paprika.

I love pork, just about every bit. To be honest, I haven't found a part I dislike. I also love duck. Duck is really the pork of poultry! Succulent, fatty and delicious. I butcher the duck myself and grind it along with pork shoulder. If you don't have acess to a meat grinder, you may be able to get your butcher to grind it for you. There's also a handy KitchenAid meat grinder attachment, which is what I use at home. 

Photo by DowntownLight Photography 

Dork Balls

1 duck - breasts and thighs removed and boned

2# boneless pork shoulder

1 cup fresh basil

1 cup Italian parsley

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 eggs

1 cup breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds, ground

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


Remove half of the skin and fat from the duck breasts and all the skin and fat from the thighs. Cut the duck and pork into pieces that will fit into grinder opening. Grind half the meat into a large bowl over an ice bath. Feed the basil, parsley, onions and garlic into the grinder. Grind the other half of the meat. Add breadcrumbs, eggs, cumin and salt and pepper. Mix well. In a small saute pan, over medium heat, put a small amount of oil and cook a small bit of dork mix as a taste test. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Form dork mixture into balls about 1.5-2 oz. each and place on cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until dork is set and almost cooked through. Place dork balls in large sauce pan with your choice of tomato sauce, either jarred or homemade. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of meatballs is 165 F. Serve on small plate as an appetizer with grated Parmesan or with pasta.