• Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 50 minutes
  • Serving For 3 people
  • Difficulty Normal

Recipe Description

Most of us are familiar with pigs in a blanket – those delectable morsels of cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon and baked or fried until crispy. We can’t deny that they are amazingly delicious and are extremely popular as a finger food at parties. Not only are they kid-friendly, they are ridiculously easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time.

The only drawback with pigs in a blanket is that both sausages and bacon are processed foods and consuming them together delivers a double whammy of sodium and nitrates, which are not recommended during the festive season.

So when I had these meatballs for the first time at a restaurant, I realised that I can have all the goodness of a homemade dish minus the guilt, well, at least reduce it.

For the meatballs, I used my wife’s homemade pork burger recipe that is packed together with diced onions, garlic and thyme, and seasoned well with salt and pepper. Then for the dressing, I used a recipe that I usually prepare for cooking chicken cacciatore containing lots of diced cherry tomatoes, onions and garlic, seasoned with lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh herbs.

I discovered that the addition of kaffir lime leaves enhances the citrus notes of the lemon, and surprisingly doesn’t dominate the dish or make it taste too Asian. You do taste the thyme, a flavour pairs well with either red or white wine. Serve the meatballs in individual ceramic soup spoons and you have a perfect starter that you can pass around as hors d’oeuvre before a meal or eaten at the table.

Recipe Ingredient

  • 500-600g minced pork
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 10g fresh thyme, plucked
  • 1/2 bulb yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g streaky bacon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ bulb yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar to taste
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Parsley
  • Lemon Zest
  • Thyme


  1. Cut the bacon slices to half their lengths and set aside.
  2. Marinate minced pork with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, onion and garlic for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Grab a handful of pork and roll into a ball of about 3 centimetres in diameter. Toss the meatball from one hand to another repeatedly to compact the meat.
  4. Wrap the meatball with a half-length slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place in an oven-safe baking dish and bake at 225°C for 20 minutes until the bacon is lightly browned and the meat is cooked through.
  6. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a saucepan and sauté onions and garlic until wilted.
  7. Then add in tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt, pepper and sugar, then stir in lemon juice, parsley, lime leaves and lemon zest. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. When the meatballs are ready, drench the dish with the dressing as evenly as possible, then return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes until all the flavours have melded together.
  9. Garnish with extra parsley, thyme and lemon zest and serve immediately while warm.

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