Monday, November 15, 2010

BBQ Meatballs

I Know what your thinking "these are those little gut bombs that I had at the last what ever party from the wholesale place." WHOA not so fast! I promise you these are not even close to those dreaded frozen in the bag ho hum marbles. These are are the food of the BBQ gods. Tender and  moist packing big time flavor. I think of them as BBQ Crack, one bite and your hooked . This is big time comfort food that at home on the plate with some mashed potatoes or Mac & Cheese that will chase the Blues away.

The thing I like about these is their versatility, I have baked them in the oven, smoked them in my wood fired BBQ Pit, and slow cooked in the Crock pot. What ever route you decide to go you will be richly rewarded.
The first time I had these was at a potluck supper. I passed on them at first but my date that night was adventurous and insisted I have a taste, to say I was pleasantly surprised is to understate the Happy Dance my taste buds where preforming. I was on a mission and left that evening with the recipe. I was amazed by it's simplicity and surprisingly few ingredients. Over time I Tried a few things, small changes here and there and have developed this into a real show stopper. Enjoy!

Perp time: 40 min                        cook time : 2 1/2 hrs             Yield 2 dzn

Tools: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, small bowl, wax paper



1 1/2 lb Ground chuck 80/20
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon pepper
3 tbl finely diced onion
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp powdered mustard
2 tbl lt brown sugar
1tsp ground ginger

BBQ Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water.
2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 tbl lemon pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp onion powder
2 good dashes Louisiana hot sauce
2 tbl grape jam
1/3 cup water


Break up the ground chuck in a mixing bowl  add the dry spices, Worcestershire, oats and milk mix to combine. place the meat in the freezer for 15 min to firm up.

In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the ingredients for the BBQ sauce except for the water and simmer for 15-20 min. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the largest skillet you have over med low heat with 2 tbl of vegetable oil.
Remove the meat from the freezer roll approximately 2 tbl spoons of the meat into a ball ( the mix will be tacky a light touch is required) and drop into the small bowl of all-purpose flour  to coat then place on the wax paper.

Brown the meatballs on all sides to firm the exterior.

If you are going to cook these in the oven place then in a 13x 9" baking dish  add the 1/2 cup water to the BBQ sauce give it a quick stir and pour over the meatballs, place the meatballs in your oven and set it to 225 deg and bake uncovered 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

If you will be using a Crock Pot put the browned meatballs in the crock, prepare the sauce like above cook on low 4 hrs or high for 2-1/2 hrs lay a wooden spoon across the crock at 1 end raising the lid to allow the sauce to thicken.

If you are going to do these in a smoker put the meatballs in a disposable aluminum pan NO sauce! Run the smoker at 225- 240 for 1 1/2 hours then add the sauce with only 1/4 cup of water. Continue to smoke
for 45 min to an hour.

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