Jalapeño Peppercorn Bacon-Wrapped Italian Meatballs
Everything's better wrapped in bacon right? Try out this recipe to take your next tailgate to the next level!
3 lbs of 80/20 beef
1.5 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 jalapeños, finely chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2-3 packages of your favorite peppered thick bacon (or regular cut bacon if you want bacon crispy without first rendering in the oven.)
Your favorite BBQ sauce
Your favorite rub
Crushed red pepper
Chop up onion and gut & chop your jalapeños as well. You can cube them up and throw them in a food processor to tap it a few times to get them really fine if you want. It’s your personal preference how big you want your veggies.
Add just enough olive oil to a skillet to cover a thin layer, throw on medium heat and add onions & jalapeños to it. Take some brown sugar and sprinkle on top and sauté until you see it break down a little and change color. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, add beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, garlic, and sautéed mixture. Then just mix and churn with your hands until it's completely even looking. Set aside. Note: make sure your beef isn’t fresh out of the fridge otherwise you're in for a really cold handed treat.
Pull out your bacon packages. Cut the bacon brick in half. Then roll your meatballs in 1 to 1.5 inch balls (your preference). Put your rub in a small bowl and dunk one side of the meatball in the rub, then take a half slice of bacon and wrap it then secure with toothpick.
Be sure you don’t puncture the meatball all the way through so it can sit on the broiler tray uniformly.
Repeat this step for each meatball until your pan(s) are filled up. If we use thick cut bacon, we want to use broiler pans or at least something to catch the grease and meatball explosions.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes. Different bacons cook differently than others, so go by your eye. You are just looking for the bacon to render and for the initial meatball explosions to happen in order to prepare the meat for smoke, plus it speeds up the bacon crispness process. Remove from oven and let cool.
Take skewers and throw six meatballs on each skewer. Throw them in a large container on foil for easy clean up, then baste with your favorite BBQ sauce, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes & brown sugar to your liking for each skewer.
Light Pit Barrel® according to instructions
Smoke for 30-45 minutes with the rebar out and vent wide open. Cracking the lid for about 5-10 minutes at the end to get that little bit of char around the bacon.
Remove skewers and the meatballs will easily slide off into your serving dish.
Desired Temp: 205°