What do you say to juicy beef meatballs with bacon and jalapeños dropping dimes on dinner?! I say you can eat these all day long… especially when they’re topped with Awesome Sauce. That’s right: Awesome Sauce.
This recipe is part of March Meatball Madness; get all the recipes right here.
Bacon-Jalapeño Burger Balls w/ Dill Relish & Awesome Sauce
Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 min | Chill 20 min | Cook 25 min | Whole30 compliant
4 strips sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon
1 tablespoon grated onion (about 1/4 medium onion)
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup minced dill pickle
1/4 cup minced raw tomato
1/4 cup minced raw onion
1/3 cup Olive Oil Mayo
1 tablespoon Kickass Ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
dash cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
NOTE: Why cream of tartar and baking soda? Traditional ground meat recipes are usually tenderized with breadcrumbs. I use a cream of tartar/baking soda combo to keep the meat light and juicy, with a nice, crisp exterior.
1. Preheat the oven to 425F and cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a large, cold skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it’s crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Pour the grease out of the skillet, leaving whatever clings to the pan, and place it back on the heat.
2. Add the onion and jalapeño to the pan and sauté until the jalapeño is soft, 2-3 minutes. Set the pan aside until the veg are cool to the touch.
3. In a large bowl, place the ground beef, salt, pepper, paprika, bacon, and the vegetables from the skillet. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the water with cream of tartar and baking soda. Pour into the bowl with the meat and mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to overnight. Meanwhile…
5. Make the relish. Mix all the minced ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
6. Make the Awesome Sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in another small bowl and refrigerate until it’s time to eat.
7. Remove the meat dough from the fridge. Moisten your hands with cold water and shake to remove excess. Measure a rounded tablespoon of meat and roll into a ball between your palms, then gently flatten it a little bit so it’s almost like a mini burger patty (that will make it easy to top with relish later). Line up the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Slide the meatballs into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and cooked through.
8. Serve immediately, topped with a little relish and a drizzle of Awesome Sauce. NOTE: Dave wanted me to tell you that you can make Crispy, Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries at the same time as the meatballs so you can have an entire “junk food that’s not at all junk food” meal. Same temperature, same timing… no wonder burgers and fries are a classic combination.
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