I had come across a recipe for barbecue cocktail meatballs from, I think, the nice folk at Kraft – because they called for using their barbecue sauce, and I thought that I could mebbe try it as a two-fer; once as dinner with mashed potatoes and a salad, and then as a pastry wrapped appetizer that next day when we were having a couple of friends over for Sunday dinner.
Let me just say this… GENIUS MOVE! The stuffing and the ground meat made for one (well, 23) fine meatball!
The mistake I made was to use a 1/4 cup scoop to make my meatballs, which, yes, were really, really good, but also, really really filling – so – definately use a two tablespoon scoop, which will give you close to four dozen tasty meatballs.
•1-1/2 lb meatloaf mix (or ground beef)
•1 (6 oz) pkg. chicken stuffing mix
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•18 oz Barbecue Sauce
•1 (14 oz) can cranberry sauce
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Heat your oven to 375º and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Whisk the eggs together with the Sherry Peppers Sauce and hot sauce in a large bowl, then stir in the stuffing mix and set it aside to soak up the liquids and the flavor for five minutes or so.
You can then add the meatloaf mix and try mixing it all together with your hands, but I found the stuffing mix – even after soaking up that egg liquid mixture, was resistantly hard and chunky.
What to do?
Why, tumble it all into my trusty food processor fitted with the metal blade!
A couple of pulses and I had a nice, smooth textured combination for my meatballs.
I transferred the mixture back into my big mixing bowl to make scooping easier and then – big mistake for more better portion sizes – brought out that honkin’ big four tablespoon scoop.
Trust me, just use a two tablespoon scoop, you, and your family and friends will be much happier – because then they can eat even more!
Arrange the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and pop into the hot oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until cooked through and an instant read thermometer reads 160º.
Now, you have choices.
You can cool the meatballs and stash in freezer bags to be enjoyed at your leisure…
OR you can stir the barbecue sauce together with the cranberry sauce in a large pan and heat them over low heat, stirring often, until heated through.
Note: feel free to use your fave bottle barbecue sauce and skip the cranberry relish, and, don’t limit yourself to barbecue sauce, these meatballs would be most excellent with a nice marinara.
Add the meatballs, stirring to coat evenly, then cover the pot and cook on medium heat until they are heated through – about five minutes should do it for freshly made meatballs.
Sure, a very nice (if, because of my scoop size error, HOOOGE) appetizer, but also a pretty fine dinner with, as I mentioned above, mashed potatoes and a tasty chopped salad with Feta dressing.
Leftovers can then be saved and served wrapped in pastry, which is also a cool thing, but I will share that, tomorrow.