Outta The Park Meatballs

I think the Food Network's Alton Brown is pretty much a genius. As a home cook with no formal culinary training, I try to watch every episode of Good Eats that I can in order to learn the simple techniques and equipment that Alton uses to elevate every day comfort foods.
The recipe below uses Alton's "bake your meatballs in muffin tins" technique with ingredients that bring out the best of our sauce's homerun flavor. The wins here are many; the meatballs cook evenly with no burning or charring, leaving them tender and ready to marry up with Outta The Park BBQ Sauce in the crockpot. Serve them at your next party on a bed of leafy green lettuce with extra sauce for dipping, or let your guests have at 'em with toothpicks right out of the crockpot! Of course, feel free to fry your meat balls in a bit of olive oil too!

Outta the Park Meatballs

(Makes approx. 80-90 meatballs)

- 2 lbs. Ground Beef
- 1 lb. Ground Pork
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs*
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1-2 bottles Outta the Park BBQ Sauce (3 TBS in meat mixture; remainder in crockpot)
- 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
*Season plain bread crumbs with salt, pepper, parsley, garlic powder & onion powder

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients using just 3 TBS of Outta the Park BBQ Sauce, using your hands to mix thoroughly. Gather the mixture into a ball and then form into meatballs roughly 1" in diameter.

In a shallow bowl, combine extra breadcrumbs and parmesan along with salt and pepper and dredge each meatball in the mix coating thoroughly. Cook meatballs in frying pan over medium heat until done, or bake using mini-muffin pans. To bake, pierce each meatball through its center with a toothpick and suspend each meatball in the muffin cups which will catch fat drippings. As a time saver you can also line up 3-4 meatballs on a skewer and line the meatballs up so they are suspended over the muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until done. Remove toothpicks or skewers and place cooked meatballs in a warmed crockpot. Add 1 Bottle of Outta the Park BBQ Sauce to crockpot. Add more from 2nd bottle if needed to cover your meatballs. Heat and serve hot. Also, be sure to add more sauce as needed and add just enough water to thin out the sauce as necessary during the course of your party. Serve hot and enjoy!

PICTURE NOTES: Our first picture above is of meat balls that have been pan fried til done and drained on paper towels. We then heated sauce in a frying pan and tossed the meat balls in with the sauce and cooked until the sauce began to caramelize.

In the bottom picture we show meatballs served with sauce for dipping.