Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BBQ Meatballs

Today I am sharing a true oldie but goodie--BBQ meatballs.  Nothing fancy here.  Just good old-fashioned home-cooking like grandma used to make.  I got this recipe from a college roommate.  Shout out to you Stefanie!  We ate a lot of convenience food back in the day, if we even bothered to have full meals.  But Sunday nights we actually got together and made ourselves real food.  These meatballs were Stef's specialty.  And when she got married and moved out, I made sure to get the recipe from her.

This is one of those recipes that circulates around a small town through just about every church and business cookbook.  Who knows where it started!  These savory little balls of beef are baked with a generous amount of a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce.  This is one of my favorite main dishes and it is really simple, so I thought it was time for it to make its way to the rest of the world via the internet.

These crowd-pleasers come together in no time and they never disappoint.  All you have to do is mix together ground beef with a few ingredients you already have sitting around your pantry.  Then form balls.  I am a fan of getting my hands dirty, so I delight in digging right in a bowl of beef.  It's just another thing I love about meatballs!

And while I love many things about this dish, my absolute favorite thing about it is the sauce.  For those of you who don't know me very well, I absolutely love BBQ.  I could eat it every day.  I *joke* with my husband that I wish they made a liquid smoke perfume that I could just dab on my neck each morning.  What a wonderful scent that would be!  Yes, I love BBQ.
This recipe includes a fantastic homemade BBQ sauce that is really easy to make.  The base is ketchup, with some brown sugar added for sweetness, and a bit of my beloved liquid smoke for a touch of smokiness.  It takes just a few minutes to heat it up and dissolve the sugar.  Then just pour it over the meatballs.  I also like to lick the extra sauce out of the pan.  Kind of like a sane person would do with cookie batter.

To cut out the fat in this recipe, the simplest thing to do is use lean beef.  But I also like to hold off on pouring  the sauce over the meatballs until they are mostly baked.  Then I drain the fat out of the pan and add the sauce.  I continue to bake maybe 10-15 more minutes.  That lets the BBQ sauce bake a little bit on the meatballs.  The result is easy, tasty, moist, and delicious home cooking everyone will love!

BBQ Meatballs
For the meatballs:
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp ground pepper
For the BBQ Sauce:
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all meatball ingredients together and form into balls (should get about 24).  Place in 9x13-inch baking dish.
Heat all sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over meatballs.
Bake for one hour, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

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