Meatballs Stuffed with Smoked Cheddar, Barbecue Sauce



1½ pound ground beef
3 ounces Grafton smoked cheddar, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Few grinds black pepper
Flour as needed to dredge meatballs
Olive oil as needed to brown meatballs


2 cups tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon pure chile powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cooking Process:

Preheat oven to 350°
Combine the breadcrumbs, milk and egg in a mixing bowl, stir together, and let the breadcrumbs absorb the liquid.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, jalapeño and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, and remove from the heat. Add to the breadcrumb mixture with the salt and pepper

Add the ground beef, and work it together with your hands to a uniform consistency. Wash and dry your hands before proceeding. Pour a little olive oil on your palms and rub them together. This will keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands. This recipe makes 16 two-inch meatballs, each weighing about 2½ ounces after stuffing. Snatch up egg-sized handfuls of the mixture and roll into meatballs. Wash and dry your hands.

Push a piece of cheese into the center of each meatball, and work a layer of meat over the cheese so that it is fully enclosed. Dredge the meatballs in flour and shake off the excess. Heat some oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Do not crowd the pan; it is best to do this in two batches. Brown the meatballs on all sides; remove to a platter, and reserve.

Whisk together all ingredients for the barbecue sauce, and pour it into a baking dish. Nestle the meatballs in the sauce and spoon some over each to coat well. Bake uncovered, in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes. Turn the meatballs over in the sauce, spoon sauce on top of each, and cook for a further 15 minutes.

how to serve:
Serve with sautéed peppers, broccoli, and rice or corn. Serve leftover meatballs, warm on a split baguette garnished with peppers and onions. Or slice them, and serve in a unique Vietnamese banh mi.