After roasting that duck the other night, we were left with excess duck fat, which we of course saved. I decided to make turkey meatballs, fried in the duck fat, for a nice twist. You won’t really taste definable duck fat, but I do think it adds to the flavor of this dish. On a separate note, I usually brunois carrots for my red sauces, because carrots add a natural sweetness. I was feeling lazy today so I decided to try shredding the carrots on a box grater and the result was great. I may end up doing it the lazy way more often.

Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs 4

*some new photos added 11/23/09

Frying in duck fat….

Very tender Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs with macaroni.

Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs 2

Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs
~about 12 servings


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, small dice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomato
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 large bay leaves


  • 1 3/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar), chopped
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup duck fat for pan frying

1. Heat oil in a large pot at medium high heat.
2. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add carrots and celery and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
4. Add diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.
5. Add garlic and bay leaves. Cover and let it simmer for 1 hour before you pan fry the meatballs. You should prepare the meatballs and cook your pasta during this time.
6. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, onion, roasted red peppers, bread crumbs, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix until even. Form into  1 to 1.5 inch balls, depending on preference.
7. Heat duck fat in a shallow but large pan. Brown the meatballs lightly on all sides and throw them directly into the pot of sauce.
8. Simmer sauce with meatballs for 25 more minutes before serving. Remove bay leaves.
9. Serve with pasta of choice.

Remember to enjoy the wonderful aroma while you cook!

posted by jessica at 07:56 PM Filed under Italian, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.