Friday, November 8, 2013

mountain man meatballs

This dish may have the most ingredients out of everything I've ever made, ever. But, all those ingredients are totally worth it. And it WAS totally worth it! Each ingredient is so perfect and plays so well together- these meatballs are like a playground of flavor! What a silly comparison, but it's so true! So many exclamation points!!
Let's start with the meat. For the meatballs.It's two whole pounds of ground beef. Normally, as you guys know, I use ground turkey. But these are Mountain Man Meatballs, so real ground beef is required. So here is the start of the many, many ingredients. So... (deep breath) ground beef, eggs, Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Mush it all up.
Let that all hang out together will you warm up the onions. You don't want them to be raw, and you don't want them caramelized. Just warmed. Slightly translucent. Just a touch.
Mix those onions in! Then, roll the ground beef into 8 VERY large meatballs. Remember... these are Man Meatballs.
Very nice. But these little lovelies are not finished yet!
Cheese! We are going to stuff those meatballs with cheese just to amp this up to the next level. Cheese makes it better.
As you can see, these are humongous meatballs. Use your pointer finger and make a little well in the center of the meatball.
 Smoosh as much as that cheese into the well as you can... then close it back up again. Be prepared for the meatballs to kind of fall apart a bit, but they'll come back together just fine.
So the next thing to do is sear the outside of the meatballs. These aren't going to cook all the way through, we just want the outsides to be brown and crispy.
Now it's onto the yummy, yummy, ingredient packed sauce. So... (deeper breath) this is a combination of ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, grated garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, beef bullion, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, liquid smoke, cocoa powder and cider vinegar. Wooh, and it's not even done yet.
The last thing to be whisked in is water, and beer. Beer! For Mountain Man Meatballs! Of course! More exclamation points!!
By now, the meatballs should be nice and browned on the outside, so take them out of the pan and move onto the finishers for the sauce.
More onion, yellow or red (or orange) bell pepper and one spicy pepper, like the poblano I used.
Mix in the sauce, and add in the meatballs. These are going in the oven for a while, so say goodbye for about 30 minutes. The meatballs are going to get cooked all the way through, the sauce will get thicker and bubbly and everything will jive together in a symphony of yumminess. Manly yumminess.
Mountain Man Meatballs
Adapted from the adaptation of Jamie Oliver's recipe- over at Kayotic Kitchen.
For the Meatballs:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs ground beef
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 eggs
2 handfulls breadcrumbs

For the Sauce:
1 medium onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 chile pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 Tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 Tablespoons ketchup
6 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 package granulated beef bullion
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dark beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a cast iron, or oven safe skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add in diced onion and saute for 2 minutes, or until warmed and slightly translucent. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients under "for the meatballs", excluding the olive oil and cheese. Add in onions and combine. Roll into 8 very large meatballs. Stuff each meatballs with cheddar cheese and place into the pan. Sear each side to browned. Meanwhile, whisk together all ingredients listed under "for the sauce", other than the onion, bell pepper and chile pepper. Set aside. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside. To the pan, add in the onion, bell pepper and chile pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add in sauce and meatballs and place entire pan in the oven. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve. Enjoy!