What could be better than barbecue meatballs? Barbecue Meatballs in bacon gravy. Yes, there’s bacon in the gravy! This recipe is all about comfort food, the kind of food we loved eating as kids. Some of the most popular recipes on the blog involve meatballs, like these North African Chermoula meatballs and my personal favourite, tapas-style Spanish meatballs. As you’d expect, the sauce is deeply savoury with just enough chilli to add a gentle heat.
There’s no right or wrong way to serve meatballs – with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes. Here, a crusty sourdough would be a huge help to mop up the marmitey bits.
A quick word about the gravy. If you’re going to use bacon, make sure it is smoked. It’ll add real depth of flavour. Of course it can be made without bacon, if you prefer. The sauce is robust enough to hold its own. To finish, scatter over torn mozzarella and blister under the grill until bubbling and golden. If you’re serious about meatballs, like the enthusiastic crowd over at The Feedfeed, hop on over to the site to pick and choose from Asian to Vegetarian, Curried and quinoa meatballs. Be sure to check out my Creamy Swedish meatballs, too.
Barbecue meatballs with bacon gravy
- 500g free-range beef mince
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 250g (1 punnet) button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 125g (6 rashers) smoked bacon, cut into smallish pieces
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup tomato passata
- 2 tablespoons fruit chutney (Mrs Balls peach chutney works well)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup weak beef stock
- a pinch of dried red chilli flakes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- several slices of mozzarella cheese
- Start by making the meatballs. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine until the spices and bread crumbs are incorporated.
- Roll into 20 – 24 evenly sized balls. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until softened.
- Toss in the mushrooms and cook on a high heat until all the water has evaporated. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Move the mushrooms to the side of the pan and add the bacon and thyme. Cook for several minutes until the bacon is lightly browned.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half.
- Add all the remaining gravy ingredients and the meatballs back into the pan.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Dot with mozzarella and place under a preheated grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.