Zesty Italian Barbeque Meatballs

Over the weekend I broke out the Little Slow Cooker That Could to brew myself up some phenomenally good Italian Barbeque Meatballs, and I learned a valuable lesson.  Sticking around all afternoon while the aroma of phenomenally good Italian Barbeque Meatballs slowly creeps its way through your apartment in an invisible flavor fog is utter self-torture. From now on, slow cooking is relegated to Mondays through Fridays only while I’m at the office.

Damn good meatballs though, even if the sauce recipe seems a little excessive.  I’m not complaining because it was delicious, but I’m wondering if I can get the same flavor punch with less ingredients.  Any thoughts?

The potatoes were a last-minute addition.  I discovered I had one russet in my cabinet, so I diced it up, coated it with olive oil and a little dry onion soup mix and baked covered at 350 for about 45 minutes.  The tanginess provided a nice contrast to the hickory sweetness of the meatballs, and it wasn’t long before MG and I had everything on our plates mixed together in two giantic savory smokey food mountains.

And of course, you can’t serve a meal like this without a healthy slice of fresh French bread to cover the soppin’ duties at the end.  Barbecue-flavored butter!  There’s nothing better.

Zesty Italian Barbecue Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey, lamb or lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

In a mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients. Form into walnut-sized balls.

Bake the meatballs in a shallow baking dish at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until browned. Drain off any fat.  Transfer the meatballs to your slow cooker.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour the sauce over the meatballs and stir lightly.

Cover and cook on Low for 4 hours (or on High for 2 hours). Stir once in the middle of cooking to baste the meatballs with sauce.  Remove the meatballs from the sauce and serve.


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2 thoughts on “Zesty Italian Barbeque Meatballs

  • May 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm
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    That looks delicious, but I’ve never seen, nor even considered potatoes with meatballs! I suppose it’s as good a starch as any. That’s certainly one way to be a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy…

  • May 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm
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    Hey Val! Yes, MG and I had a hard time moving too much after polishing off this meal, but the flavor combo was quite amazing. Finding that lone potato was a fortunate happy accident!

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