Monday, August 24, 2015

Honey Chipotle Meatballs - Three Ways


Meatballs, Honey, Chipotle, Recipe, BBQ, Broilers, Skillet

I'm calling this recipe Honey Chipotle Meatballs - Three Ways because I'm showing you how you can make this recipe using three different cooking methods.

Why three methods?
1) Sometimes you might want to grill
2) Sometimes you might want to grill but it's raining or it's snowing or it's just to darn hot (especially if it is summer and you are in Florida) so you can't grill but you can use your broiler and kind of get the same effect
3) Sometimes you don't want to grill or broil but you crave the taste! So I am providing a stove top method.

None of the methods is any better than the other, it is quite subjective as to what you do or don't want to do ...  or rather what method you want to use to cook the meal.

Now, I will say the sauce is damn good on just about anything you want to put it on.  It has enough heat and sweet that even folks who usually don't tolerate heat will enjoy it.

The meatball recipe on its own is delicious and produces a tender, moist meatball.  The cream and grated onion add that extra moisture the meatball needs to keep it from becoming a golf ball. No one wants to eat a golf ball, at least not anyone I know does.

The bacon imparts a deep, rich smokiness and my secret ingredient not only provides warm color, it also adds depth to the overall flavor. The meatballs are comprised of beef, pork and chorizo (sausage) - yes, that is a lot of flavor going on and it works beautifully.

Give it a try all three ways and let me know which is your favorite.

Honey Chipotle Sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 - 2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in  adobo (or to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened) - warning this is the secret ingredient
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, process until smooth.  You can make this a few days ahead.

For the Meatballs
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup white bread cubed
4-6 slices applewood smoked bacon
1 cup grated onion
1 heaping tablespoon garlic
1/2 - 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo, finely chopped (remove seeds)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (unsweetened) - warning this is the secret ingredient
1 teaspoon of oregano - preferably the Mexican variety
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup of beer (drink the rest!)
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/4 pound ground chorizo (I use Spanish chorizo but you can substitute with Mexican or regular sausage)
1/4 cup cilantro
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Soak the bread in the cream in a large bowl
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet, Once crispy move to a rack with paper towel underneath to drain. Once cooled crumble and set aside.
  3. Leave about 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat in skillet, cook onions, garlic, cocoa, oregano, cumin and chiptole over medium heat until onion is softened.  Add the beer to deglaze the pan, stirring until all liquid has evaporated.
  4. Stir  onion and spice mixture into bread and cream mixture, allow to cool to handle
  5. Add beef, pork and chorizo, cilantro, bacon, egg, salt and pepper to the bowl. 
  6. Mix all the ingredient by hand, Do not overwork the mixture.
You can prepare the meatballs a day ahead and keep in fridge to ready to cook in one of the three ways that follow below.

Now to Cook it Three Different Ways:

If you are using the first and second method -  first do this. Using a tablespoon to measure, roll  meatballs in the palm of your hand and thread  3-4 on to wooden* or metal skewers.

First Method:

Brush meatballs with Honey Chipotle Sauce and broil about 4 inches from heat until browned and well cooked about 8-10 minutes.
Grill, Grill topper, shop, utensils for grill,
You can find a grill topper like the
one above at Bed Bath & Beyond
Second Method:

You can grill them over medium heat on your gas or charcoal grill - just take care to not move them or they will fall apart. You can use one a rectangular grill topper  (like the one in the picture)
to keep them from falling through the grates. Don't forget to brush with the sauce as you grill.

Third Method:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Honey Chipotle Sauce
Using a tablespoon to measure, roll  meatballs in the palm of your hand, set each one on a sheet of wax paper until all the meat is used up.  Heat a skillet with one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add meatballs and brown meatballs.  Lower heat to keep from over browning, if needed. Deglaze the pan by adding in the wine, stir to scrape up the brown bits from pan then add in the honey Chipotle Sauce, Stir well, let it come up to a low boil and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes.
Serve with  my Sweet and Savory Roasted and Grilled Corn on the Cob, hot corn tortillas, Nicaraguan Cabbage Slaw (or Ensalada de Repollo Nica) and beer! Cheers!

* If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use to keep them from burning on the grill.

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