Superbowl Sunday Food: Zesty Italian BBQ Meatballs

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.

Damn good meatballs though.

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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