Thursday, June 23, 2011

Honey BBQ Meatballs

How many of you have been to a baby shower, bridal shower, or some other type of party where they serve those delicious barbeque meatballs out of a slow cooker? I've been to many, and each time I find myself pulled to the BBQ meatballs like a magnet. And somehow, I don't manage to leave until I've devoured way too many.

Anyway...John has requested I make these for some time now. Now, I was sure I could find an easy way to make them. However, easy doesn't always mean it won't be time-consuming. Now that it's summer, I've found myself with a lot of extra time (honestly, too much time). So I decided to embark on making these tasty meatballs...from scratch.

I used the lovely Google to search for recipes. Some called for frozen meatballs (which I would recommend if you don't want to spend a lot of time on these) others created everything from scratch. After drawing inspiration from Rachael Ray, Barefoot Contessa and Man-Tested Recipes (I aim to please!), I decided to experiment and come up with my own recipe.

The result? They were soooo good! John actually fist-bumped me over it. I think he ate about 15 good-sized meatballs. I only ate five, not because they weren't delicious, but because they were so filling! And since half is made with ground turkey it's leaner than regular meatballs. No guilt here. :)

Honey BBQ Meatballs
Recipe by Call Me Mrs. Rapp, with inspiration from Rachael Ray, Barefoot Contessa & Man-Tested Recipes
Yields about 45 meatballs 
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*1 lb lean ground turkey
*1 lb ground beef
*1 egg, beaten
*1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
*1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used the kind you sprinkle on spaghetti - nothing fancy)
*1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
*1 teaspoon garlic powder
*1 tablespoon minced onion
*extra virgin olive oil

Honey BBQ Sauce:
*1/2 red onion, chopped finely
*1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup honey mustard
*1/2 teaspoon allspice
*1/2 teaspoon curry powder
*2 tablespoons vegetable oil
*2 cups Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbeque sauce


*Combine all ingredients except for olive oil in a large bowl. Honestly, just go for it and mash it all together with your hands. It's messy, but will be most effective.

*When ingredients are mixed together, roll them into about 1-1 1/2 inch balls. Place them on a plan as you roll them out to keep your counters raw-meat free!

*Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I used my sear pan which is about 1/4 inch deep). Place meatballs on the skillet (mine took 3 batches) and don't overcrowd. The goal is to brown all sides of the meatballs but not cook them completely. By browning them they should retain their shape and not fall apart in the slow cooker.  

*Once all meatballs are browned, place them in the slow cooker. Pour the homemade honey BBQ sauce plus 2 cups of Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbeque Sauce in the slow cooker. (Or, use a whole bottle of BBQ sauce and skip the homemade sauce).

*Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve as an appetizer, or like we did, as a entree with a side of veggies! :)

Honey BBQ Sauce:
*Pour vegetable oil in a small saucepan and saute onions for about 5 minutes. (I waited for mine to brown slightly because I wanted to be sure they gave a sweet taste and weren't too noticeable texturally.)

*Add vinegar and reduce by half, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook for 1 minute to incorporate. Whisk in broth, honey mustard, allspice and curry powder. Bring sauce to a bubble, and reduce to low heat.

*Pour over meatballs in slow cooker, plus 2 cups of Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbeque Sauce. (Or, double the homemade recipe and only use that. I wanted the combo).

*For pictures of the Honey BBQ sauce see my post Slow-Cooked Honey BBQ Chicken

On the pan and ready to be browned. Look at how many!

Browning - careful not to crowd them or they'll stick together!

About to come off the skillet.

All in the slow cooker.

Drenched in BBQ sauce and slow cooking away.
Served in a bowl with extra sauce drizzled on top. Mmm :)

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