Carolina Pork-&-Bacon Meatballs Are a Panthers Super Bowl Party Necessity
When it comes to Super Bowl snack and apps, putting out a jar of onion dip and some greasy chips is totally acceptable, but there's no sense in settling. This year, put a little work in and serve these epic pork meatballs, instead. They're drenched in a vinegar-spiked 'cue sauce -- an ode to Carolina's famous Eastern-style barbecue -- and then wrapped in thick slabs of bacon.
Be forewarned, they're a total show stealer. I'm talking to you, Coldplay.
Carolina Pork-&-Bacon Meatballs Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 2 pounds ground pork shoulder
- 4 slices white sandwich bread, broken down in a food processor
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 12 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced in half crosswise
- 1 ½ cups cider vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, bread crumbs, eggs, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika; mix by hand. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.
- With wet hands, roll the meat mixture into 24 golf–size balls. Wrap half a slice of bacon around each meatball and place on the wire rack with the seam side down. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce over each meatball. Bake for 10 minutes. Spoon another tablespoon of sauce over each meatball and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and let meatballs cool on the rack for 5 minutes. Serve with extra sauce on the side for dipping. Don’t forget the toothpicks!
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