Meat, Fish, Soup, Stews, and Savory Sauces

Quebec Pork Meatballs

Preserving batches of this traditional Quebec recipe and storing the jars in your pantry allows you to serve it at a moments notice. Jars of this Quebec specialty also make wonderful gifts. Prepare and process recipes as directed but it can be adapted to your family’s taste preferences by substituting your own spice mixture.


  • 2 kg (4.4 lb) lean ground pork
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, optional
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) dried parsley
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) freshly ground pepper
  • Spice Mixture
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) dry mustard
  • 1 1/4 tsp (6 ml) ground cloves
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground mace, optional
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups (750 ml) liquid – broth, water or up to 1 cup (250 ml) red wine plus broth or water


  • Place 6 clean 500 ml or 3 clean 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.

  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.

  • Combine ground pork with onions, garlic, if using, parsley, salt, pepper and spice mixture. (If desired, substitute your own favourite blend of spices. Avoid sage as it can become bitter during storage.) Mix well. Form meat mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) meatballs using about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) for each. Working in batches, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; brown meatballs on all surfaces. Remove browned meatballs to another container while browning remainder.

  • When meatballs are browned, slowly add liquid to skillet scraping up brown bits from pan; bring to a boil. Using slotted spoon, remove any burned or large pieces. Pack meatballs into hot jars filling to within 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) of top rim. Equally divide hot liquid among jars; add boiling water filling each jar to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of to rim (headspace).

  • Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Centre sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining mixture. If stacking jars, place a second rack between layers of jars.

  • When pressure canner is full, adjust water to level as directed by canner manufacturer. Lock canner lid in place and follow manufacturer’s heating instructions. Vent canner–allow steam to escape steadily–for 10 minutes; close vent.

  • When canner reaches the pressure appropriate for your altitude* and type of pressure canner, begin counting processing time. Process – heat filled jars – 500 ml jars – 75 minutes; 1 L jars – 90 minutes at 10 lb (69 kPa) pressure in a weighted gauge pressure canner.

  • NOTE: processing times indicated are for a weighted gauge pressure canner used at altitudes up to 1,000 ft (305 m). When using a dial gauge pressure canner or canning at higher elevations, adjust pressure according to chart.

  • When processing time is complete turn off heat. Allow canner to stand undisturbed until pressure drops to zero. Wait 2 minutes, and then remove cover, tilting it away from your face. Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store in a cool, dark place.

  • To serve: In saucepan, brown flour in a small amount of fat; stir in liquid from meatballs. Cook and stir until thickened. Add meatballs and heat through.



October 28, 2016



I made these meatballs using my own spice mixture of rosemary and some Worcestershire sauce in the mix. Instead of frying the balls, I browned them in a hot oven. Processed as directed with beef broth, and they came out perfectly! They are not mushy at all and very tasty!