Football. Beer. Meatballs.
All credit for this fine Game Day recipe goes to Uncle Gary, who wowed our extended family with these spicy-salty-sweetly-sour beauties on Christmas Day. These were the first appetizers to disappear from a table already laden with holiday goodness, and his recipe is already in heavy rotation with the grandparents, aunties and uncles.
On this, the first real snow-laden weekend of the winter, no treat could be better.
½ c. egg product (or equivalent volume freshly beaten eggs)
½ c. seasoned bread crumbs
½ c. finely chopped onion
¼ c. half & half
a good three-finger pinch of coarse salt
a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb. ground beef
¾ c. apricot jelly (any fruit-based jelly will do)
3 tbl. spicy brown mustard
3 tbl. bourbon or whiskey
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. sriracha (or any hot pepper sauce)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the panade, whisk together the egg product, bread crumbs, onion, milk, salt and pepper. Add the panade to the sausage and beef and mix well with your hands. Shape into approximately 70 meatballs, each about the size of a quarter, and line them on two parchment-covered baking sheets. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a slow cooker on the lowest setting.
In a sauce pan stir together the jelly, mustard, bourbon, Worcestershire and sriracha. Heat, stirring constantly, until the jelly melts and mixture just starts to bubble. Hit the meatballs with the sauce and turn gently to coat. Leave the meatballs in the slow cooker on warm or the lowest setting until you are ready to devour them.
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