Making meatballs with Mom is one of my earliest memories in the kitchen. Perhaps it was then, that a little seed was subconsciously planted inside of me; a teeny tiny little baby speck of a meatball seed that would someday grow into the desire to become a chef and nourish the drive to eventually help me flower into one.
With the flavor of meatloaf and the portability of a meatball, meatloaf meatballs are the perfect combination of favorite homemade dinners. I put a hunk of mozzarella in the center for a delicious melted surprise. And for extra flavor and even more appeal, I wrapped it all in bacon. The bacon melts right onto the seasoned meat as it cooks, incorporating a delicious saltiness on the outside that only a slice of pork belly can do so well.
Of course, the best thing about classic meatloaf is a good ketchup glaze. Wouldn't you agree? Half-way through cooking, the meatballs are basted with a simple, no-cook ketchup glaze made with maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce, then receive one more good slathering right before they are served. Enjoy!
Yield: 10-12 Meatballs- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1 cup panko breadcrumb
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 egg
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella, cut into cubes
- 5-6 slices of bacon, cut in half
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant.
3) In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion and garlic with the meat, breadcrumb, garlic powder, thyme, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, cumin and the egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Mix until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
4) To prepare the glaze, mix together the remaining Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, maple syrup and hot sauce in a medium bowl.
5) Form the meat mixture into balls a little larger than the size of golf ball; insert a cube of mozzarella into each, forming the meat completely around the cheese. Wrap each meatball in a slice of bacon and place seam-side down on a broiler pan.
6) Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes, and then baste with half the glaze. Bake 15 minutes more until the meat and bacon are fully cooked. Brush on the remaining glaze and serve immediately. Serve over rice, if desired.