When you combine delicious meatballs with maple whiskey-laced BBQ sauce you’ve entered a new realm of unique flavor celebrations! Whiskey, maple syrup, smoked paprika and cumin are only a few of the ingredients that combine to create the perfect complement to your meatballs.
Can you believe I’ve never put BBQ sauce on meatballs? Honestly, it’s never occurred to me but when I saw this amazing recipe in Kristy Gardner’s new book, Cooking with Cocktails, I knew I had to have it!
Kristy is a fellow Canadian and extremely talented recipe creator, food photographer, blogger and now author of this amazing cookbook. I’m so thrilled for her success and wanted to share this recipe so you can get a peek at the beauty of cooking with wines, spirits and beers. They add that extra depth of flavor and richness that takes your dish to the next level.
Kristy’s writing is humorous and personable and after reading the introduction you want to ask her to be your best friend. I love this lady! She’s self-effacing, hilarious and super talented. And now she’s sharing her glorious creations with us.
I first ‘met’ Kristy on Twitter when I noticed her tweet about escaping to Salt Spring Island (a gorgeous island on the west coast of Canada) to finish writing her book. She was sitting out on the deck sipping on some wine and I tweeted to her that she might want to keep an eye out for cougars, ha! I think I freaked her out a bit but I’m very familiar with the cougar population on the island and they are everywhere! As someone who has had a cougar bound through my backyard while also sipping on some wine, I thought I should let her know it was a possibility!
I tried my best to replicate the styling in her photo from the book because it’s so beautiful. All of her shots are stunning and mouthwatering and I can’t wait to make Strawberry Chambord Whipped Stilton Cheese Toasts, Mushroom Thyme Sherry Soup, and the Beef & Barley Red Wine Stew just to name a few.
This isn’t just a cookbook, it’s an experience. Each time you pull it out to find a recipe you will smile because you know you’ll get a taste of Kristy’s contagious enthusiasm along with her gorgeous dishes. First one up – these amazing meatballs – go for it! Cheers!
Oh, and don’t forget to share your photos when you make these. Both Kristy and I would love to see and share them. Hashtag us on Instagram! #kristy_gardner and #simplyfreshdinners
Smoky Stout or Maple Whiskey BBQ Sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup stout beer or maple rye whiskey (if unavailable, regular rye whiskey and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup will do it)
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp adobe sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
Heat the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. When sizzling and melty, add the onion and garlic. Saute until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a food processor. Puree at high speed until smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender, but be careful - it's hot!
Pour into a mason jar os other nonreactive vessel.
Maple Whiskey-Laced Meatballs
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 1 large egg
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 4 good dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 batch Smokey Maple Whiskey BBQ Sauce
Put the flour in a shallow bowl and line a large late with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place all the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix well to combine , being careful not to overwork the meat.
Roll the meat into 1 1/2 inch balls and then gently toss in the flour - this helps the balls stay together during cooking and creates a good crust on the outside. Shake off the excess flour and place one the prepared plate.
Once all balls are formed, preheat your oven to 350 F
Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe pan. When the oil is hot, add the balls and carefully shake to coat with the oil. Brown well on all sides. Be careful not to crowd the pan, or you'll steam the balls rather than brown them; you may need to do this in batches if your pan isn't large enough.
Cover the pan and place in the hot oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
To serve, coat with the Smoky Maple Whiskey BBQ sauce and heat through, if necessary.
Don’t forget to PIN IT!