Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spicy Orange Bison Balls - Feeding My Inner Adolescent

Balls have always been problematic for menu and recipe writers. You can't write "Pork Balls" on a menu, you have to write "Pork Meatballs." Even though there would be no possibility of confusing these Bison balls with the reproductive parts of a male buffalo, the "balls" would never be written without the "meat." Well, I think it's high time this practice is sacked.

Are we still so immature as a nation that we can't just serve balls? Do we have to keep a
dding those extra letters for fear some 15-year old can't control his giggling at Hooters? Besides, now that 72% of all information (my estimate) is transmitted via text message, I would think we'd all benefit from chopping off a couple letters, e.g., MMA Tonys 4 bison balls.

This recipe is inspired by the retro classic, cocktail meatballs in grape jelly. I took that idea, along with my love of spicy orange beef, and came up with this combination. I chose bison as the meat due to its lower fat, and slight subtle gaminess. The very simple, spicy-sweet sauce with the savory bison balls makes a great pair.

These can be used for a main course over some rice, but are really great served as an Hors d'oeuvre at a party. Just make sure you make enough. These are very addictive, and you don’t want to leave some of your guests hanging. They could get testy. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
1 pound ground bison
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sambal Asian chili sauce, or red pepper flakes
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 cups water


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33 comments:

AceTravis said...

If I wanted to use that spicy orange sauce with some chicken, would I do a procedure sort of like the Slanted Door's Caramel Chicken dish with chicken thighs?

Chef John said...

exactly. I've trained you well. ;)

Ki said...

LOL

"high time this practice is sacked"
"a great pair"
"leave some of your guests hanging."
"They could get testy."

Oy!

Chef John, continuing to prepare fabulous food whilst proving to women the word over there is a part of every mans brain that ceases development at fourteen.

;-)

Chef John said...

For a non-male, you certainly had no trouble picking those up.

JadedOne said...

I giggled at the end of the video. Thanks for the recipe and making me smile on yet another craptastic day at the office.

Anonymous said...

Nice use of double entendre. These look tasty, though an actual demonstration on how to cook real cows testicles would be nice. Another offal i'd like to see would be a sweetbread recipe. Perhaps in the future.

Anonymous said...

Well you have shamed me into admitting that I would not mind having these balls in my mouth. They look tasty.

blogagog said...

"Balls have always been problematic for menu and recipe writers. You can't write "Pork Balls" on a menu, you have to write "Pork Meatballs."

Can't we continue this trend? No one wants to eat balls, no matter which animal they came from. That's not going to change. Even in California.

Scott - Boston said...

Well, it looks like you've just blogged yourself off of Nancy from Ohio's Christmas list. Nice going.

Incidentally, I kinda agree with her. I mean, if you really read today's blog and listen to it closely, I'd think you were trying to subversively trick us into thinking filthy thoughts... It's the worst kind of subversive too, the kind that you don't even know is being done.

And have you ever played one of these videos backwards?! For shame, Chef John... for shame.

Chicken Breasts! PorkLoins! I looked up the real meaning of "Giambotta"... The jig is up, Chef John.

And while your blog on "How To Enjoy A Salad Without Dressing" was delicious, I felt ashamed, and demeaned, and-and-and cold. My face was beet red when I sat down to eat it and realized what you were doing. As was my mother-in-laws' when she walked into the room.

I guess it's just a matter of different strokes (ahem).

Scott - Boston

Scott - Boston said...

Wait! I almost forgot the obligatory "ball" joke...

okay... um... let me think. (Nice job by everyone for hogging them all) ... hmmmm... okay, got it -

Hey Chef John, nice recipe. Can't wait to try it. Incidentally, I have no problem with balls at all. I mean, after all, where would we be without 'em!

Scott - Boston

Chef John said...

Thanks Scott, I'm sorry you couldn't get in earlier to use one of the easier references. That must drive you nuts.

ragecg said...

Am I the ONLY 14yr old (minded) one here?
"uh, huh huh, he said balls..."

...man, tough crowd.

Oh, can I feed these alongside Alec Baldwins "Shwetty Balls"?

...ok, I'm done I think:)

Anonymous said...

Hey, may I suggest a simple way to go around the stark shock of the word "BALLS" showing up on your menu: Use another language! A short trip to Google translator has these and more:

Bola-Fillipino
Pallot-Finnish
Palle-Italian
Boules-French
Balle-German
Ballen-Dutch
Bale-Polish
Bile-Romanian (Hmm, maybe not this one though, eeww.)
Bollar-Swedish

The other languages were font-twitchy and wouldn't show up here, but you get the idea. The IQ's of those who'd be offended, why they'll never even pick up on it! However, they will be the first one yelling about how the dish being served is just meatballs though...

Anonymous said...

Hey, may I suggest a simple way to go around the stark shock of the word "BALLS" showing up on your menu: Use another language! A short trip to Google translator has these and more:

Bola-Fillipino
Pallot-Finnish
Palle-Italian
Boules-French
Balle-German
Ballen-Dutch
Bale-Polish
Bile-Romanian (Hmm, maybe not this one though, eeww.)
Bollar-Swedish

The other languages were font-twitchy and wouldn't show up here, but you get the idea. The IQ's of those who'd be offended, why they'll never even pick up on it! However, they will be the first one yelling about how the dish being served is just meatballs though...

AceTravis said...

Hey Chef. Another question about the sauce. Would I use less water if I was preparing the sauce before dumping 1/3 of it onto the browned chicken thighs? The site says 3 cups of water.

Sky Peace said...

Shwetty balls, LOL. I still giggle every time I listen to the NPR food programs.

"See how they glisten?"

Chef John said...

Yes Ace, I would use half the water, you can add more of course.

Scott - Boston said...

Saaaayy, what's the big idea Ace? (putting on my best Edward G. Robinson impersonation). Chef John put his balls on the table for us and you want to ask food question? Now's not the time! :)

Incidentally, Chef John, my balls are too big, maybe I should add a second cup?

Scott - Boston

Pam said...

I'm also sorry I couldn't get in earlier to use one of the easier references, and yes, it does drive me "nuts"

However, I think I may be the first to bring up the South Park show where "Chef develops a new dessert treat for the film festival crowd, while Mr. Hankey beckons from below."

And may I suggest another way to get around the shock of the word "BALLS" showing up on a menu: Use an alternative ...
bison "globes" anyone?

granny said...

I make balls all the time and yes people get testy when I don't have enough. Scott don't worry if they are too big, sometimes bigger is better. In Madrid there are tasty bull's balls at the market.
Chef loved the drum roll in the video.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to put my 2 cents in this discussion. It's all just a sack of nuts!

Anonymous said...

Would the bison balls pair nicely with your cousin Tony's sausage?

Lucia said...

Wohaaa.

Oh well, some people do eat animal's balls, some say they are tasty, just never bothered.

I guess Beef would work nice here. Bison is not really available in Europe. I wonder since Bison is leaner, if a specific beef cut for the ground is needed.

Chef John said...

A ground round would be fine, any cut really as long as it's gound "lean" 90%

Greg said...

The realization that I need to make these hit me like a kick in the *****.

Joe said...

I heard that when a buffalo mates with a cow to create "beefalo", the cow then becomes sterile. The problem is I enjoy beefalo more than regular buffalo.

Shreela said...

I do many balls at one time, so that I can enjoy some balls right away, and still have some for later. I did a lot of balls for my mother last week, so that she'll be able to enjoy them when I'm not there.

I prefer to do balls in the oven, which leaves my hands free to do other things.

I love saucy balls, and hope you'll blog about them again, because I love variety when it comes to balls.

Julia said...

I just made these bison balls tonight. They were really good, and fabulous as a party food. I loved the spicy orange sauce. I'm going to cook buffalo meat more often.

maitino said...

Here in Zimbabwe traditionally when the men kill a cow, they roast the genitals and eat them wherever they would have slaughtered the beast. Women are not allowed to eat that stuff.

Casino Eight said...

Hello Chef John,

I am a regular visitor to your site. Thank you for the wonderful easy to cook Bison Meat balls,

Well, I am writing from india so bison meat is not available here. I guess I can use bufflo meat, which is commonly availabe.

The other thing I wanted to consult is about Orange Marmalade. It is available, but I am not sure if it will be really liked in India. Are there any other alternate like pickled lemons with some honey??

Please advise.


Tariq Mumtaz

Chef John said...

Buffalo and bison are the same thing. Yes any sweet/tart fruit condiment should work, even mango chutney! Enjoy!

Rmona W. said...

Made this 7/28, it was really good. I used Ground beef instead of the buffalo, but I think lamb would have made a better substitute. The sauce was delish, I certainly will be making this again!

1Bigg_ER said...

Eeww, use some peanut oil and you'll have balls with a nutty flavor...