Monday, 10 December 2012

Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce

We had 20 minutes to eat our dinner between cricket training and volleyball training. Most meal times are pretty relaxed affairs in our house, but when you only have 20 minutes, dinner can turn into a bit of an Olympic event. There's no time for the usual chatter, giggling fits, explanations of what happened in the school ground at lunch time.  It's heads down and don't come up for air until you're finished. This is the kind of meal that my crew will happily wolf down with out the usual prompting and cajoling (and general healthy social interaction that usually goes on at our dinner table.) It's not the ideal family mealtime, but this is real life people.

Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce
adapted from a newspaper cutout from the distant past
Serves 4-6

For the Meatballs:
250g ground pork
250g ground beef
1 onion, roughly chopped
1/2 red capsicum, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 cup sourdough bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain flour
olive oil for frying

For the Barbecue Sauce:
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup tomato passata
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
few drops Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon SouthWest Chipotle Seasoning (or your favourite spicy seasoning)

Make the Meatballs:
Put the onion and capsicum into a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Put a frying pan over a medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and gently fry the onion and capsicum until they have softened. Set aside and allow them to cool.

In a bowl, place the ground meat, bread crumbs, onion and capsicum and egg. Mix well and season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Place flour on a baking tray. Roll the mixture into golf ball-size balls and gently roll them in the flour.

Put about 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium frying pan and heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Wipe out the frying pan.

Make the Barbecue Sauce:
In the frying pan you used to fry the meatballs, place the tomato ketchup, tomato passata, water, sugar, Worcestershire, vinegar, Tabasco, celery salt and SouthWest Seasoning. Stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat, add meatballs and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes, turning the meatballs halfway through.

I served mine with brown rice, slices of avocado and corn from 4 cobs, sauteed in a little butter, a pinch of cayenne and finished with lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. Also good with mashed potatoes... and if you really want your children to love you, stuff the meatballs into fresh soft white buns and let the love-in begin.


  1. sounds like a great quick dinner! and how do you make meatballs so darn photogenic?! teach me your ways.

  2. Ouh la laaaaaaaa!!! Such a nice meal you have there! I love the corn salad and the rice and oh, the meatballs!! My family would loooooooooooove those! Aww can you not love that hihi ;)

  3. I am sooooooooooooo going to make these! They look amazing and ah, the colour of that bbq sauce. YUM!

  4. My husband has seen your photographs and wants to know if there is a room for rent (food included). :)

  5. Thanks Little Kitchie. I'm VERY new to photography so I'm still learning and still making lots of mistakes. I'm self-taught, so I just take lots of photos and sometimes I surprise myself and get it right :)

  6. Hey Gabrielle. Make this when you've got lots of studying to do. It will make you feel pampered. It's real comfort food without being too naughty... not that there's anything wrong with that!

  7. Hi Laura. Yes, I could take a bath in that sauce hehe

  8. Thanks Patty. I'll ask the boys if they would mind sharing their room (and dinner) LOL!

  9. these are perfect for the upcoming college bowl season. I featured them on my Friday Five over @Feed Your Soul -

  10. Thanks so much for the mention Peter. These meatballs are practically inhaled by the men here, so I'm sure they'll be perfect for college bowl season.

  11. I'll be enjoying this meatballs with more chili and pepper. Perfect for a small reunion with your guy friends while watching NFL with a cold beer. You can also eat this kind of recipe on pan asian restaurant London.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Thomas. I hope you enjoy the meatballs. Adding extra chilli and pepper sounds like an excellent idea... and with COLD beer, can I come over? :P.

    Thanks, also, for the link, I was seriously drooling over the menu... seriously!

  13. Oh, you saucy thing, Jennifer! Thanks for bringing this on over. Cheers