Well, I know the Cowboys aren’t in the Super Bowl and the Houston Texans didn’t make it, but the game will be down in Houston and that’s a good enough reason to watch the big game. Since I don’t really have a team to cheer for, I guess I’ll go with Atlanta. Although….Tom Brady is the better looking quarterback. My, my. Decisions, decisions. I may not be able to choose a team easily, but I will be making these savory meatballs to munch on during the game.
These turned out to be two good bites, so next time I’ll make the meatballs a bit smaller – maybe 1 1/2″ instead of 2″. Also, I used thick bacon and I think it would cook a little better with thinner bacon. I liked the combination of beef with a touch of barbecue sauce along with the salty, smoky bacon and spicy jalapeno. I ended up plopping two jalapeno slices on top – one for each bite of meatball. If you don’t like spicy, leave the jalapeno off and put a dab of barbecue sauce on top after they’re finished cooking.
Don’t overwork the beef mixture when forming the meatballs, but make sure they’re compact enough to hold together. Baking them in the mini muffin pan was really nice and they were easy to scoop out to serve. They’re best when eaten warm!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 C bread crumbs
- 1 egg , beaten
- 2 tsp barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp onion , minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 C shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
- 8 slices bacon , halved
- Sliced Pickled Jalapenos
- Ranch Dressing (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Gently mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, barbecue sauce, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, egg and cheese until combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2" meatballs and wrap 1/2 piece of bacon around each. Place each meatball into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
Bake meatballs for 12 minutes, then turn the pan around in the oven and bake for additional 15-18 minutes or until bacon is cooked and browned. Remove from the pan immediately and put one or two slices of jalapeno on top of each meatball along with a toothpick. OK cooled off a bit, but best warm. Serve with ranch dressing if desired.
Tips and Stuff: I didn't use the onion (used onion powder), but I recommend it for better meatballs. Use actual breadcrumbs - not the ground ones from the can. The meatballs will hold together better. Just finely chop up half a hamburger bun or hot dog bun until it's crumbs and that will work. Wouldn't recommend honey barbecue sauce - it would make it too sweet.