Belly Buster Stuffed Meatballs
3/4 lb 93% Lean Ground Beef
3/4 lb Ground Pork
2 C Onion- minced fine
2 ea Large eggs
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 C Milk
2 Tsp Yellow mustard
2 Tsp Worchestire sauce
1/4 C Ketchup
1/2 C Panko bread crumbs
1/3 C Spice Union Honey Habanero Rub
8 oz Block of Monterey Jack cheese
16 Strips Bacon
3/4 C Classic barbecue sauce (click here for the recipe) or Apricot Lemongrass Glaze (click here for the recipe)
Prepare the meatballs:
Preheat a medium size sauté pan to medium heat.
Add the olive oil and onion to the sauté pan. Cook just until the onions are translucent. Allow the onions to cool to room temperature.
Combine the beef, pork, onion, eggs, milk, yellow mustard, Worchestire sauce, ketchup, panko bread crumbs and Spice Union seasoning of your choice in a large bowl. Mix to thoroughly combine. Set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Cut the block of Monterey Jack cheese into 8 even cubes.
Divide the meat mixture into 8 even portions.
With as minimal manipulation as possible, press each portion of meat mixture into a round patty, about 1/2 inch thick.
Place a cube of Monterey Jack in the center of each patty. Gently bring the sides up and around the cheese cube and massage the meat mixture until it closes and seals around the cheese cube. The seal is important and prevents the cheese from escaping the meatball during cooking.
Make an "X" with two strips of bacon and set the meatball in the center of the "X." Wrap the bacon strips over the top of the meatballs so they lay flat.
Place each bacon wrapped meatball into a muffin tin once completed (Image 1); lest they roll out the door.
Repeat this process for the remaining 7 meat portions.
Smoke the meatballs:
Preheat your smoker to 300°F- setting up for indirect cooking.
Place the muffin tins of meatballs in to your smoker.
Smoke the meatballs for 30-35 minutes at 300°F, at which time, they should be firm to the touch.
Remove the muffin tins from the smoker and transfer the meatballs to a rack on a baking sheet. (Image 2)
Glaze the meatballs with the barbecue sauce of your choice and return them to the smoker.
Increase the temperature of your smoker to 325°F and continue to smoke the meatballs for 20-25 minutes; re-applying the glaze at the 10 minute mark.
Remove the meatballs from the smoker and serve immediately with your favorite side dishes. May we suggest light sides such as a garden salad or cucumber tomato salad? These meatballs are rich!