*Note to my brother, once again I’m sorry I used up the Ghost Pepper BBQ sauce that I made for you, but it was perfect for this recipe. I’ll make you some more. I promise.
I have put off making this for such a long time. Mostly because I didn’t feel I had a good meatball recipe, and secondly because for some reason I’ve always found meatballs a little mysterious. Then a Julia Childs’ quote came to mind “Sometimes in cooking you have to have a what the hell attitude.” And with that sage advice I plunged ahead. I’m glad I did.
While most meatball recipes call for an even mix of beef, pork, and veal. I only went with beef and pork. Veal is almost impossible to find around here, and if you do your going to need to mortgage your house and sell your wife. The selling the wife I might be ok with, but I have to draw the line at ANOTHER mortgage. If you can get veal then I’d highly recommend it. Your going to get a much better texture……. or so I’m told.
What to expect: This is by no stretch of the imagination an Italian meatball sandwich, nor do we make any claim that it is. The chipotles will enhance the smoke, and add a nice little bite of heat. The mix of ground beef and sausage will give you a nice balance of flavor. The grilled peppers and onions will do what they do best: 1) add flavor and texture, and 2) send out that aroma that will have the neighbors peeking over the fence and stopping by to see if there are any free samples.
Yeild: 6 sandwiches.
Time: 1 hour (if you preheat the grill while you mix the meatballs and cut your peppers and onions)
What you’ll need.
1lb 80/20 ground beef
1/3 cup of bread crumbs
2-3 chipotles in adobo finely chopped.
1 red pepper cut into thin slices
1 yellow pepper cut into thin slices
1 green pepper cut into thin slices
1 onion cut into thin slices
1/4-1/2 lb THINLY sliced provolone cheese.
salt and pepper for seasoning
2-3 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
Good FIRM hoagie buns.
Medium size aluminum pan
How we did it.
Begin by cutting your peppers and onions and setting aside to avoid an cross contamination.
Finely chop your chipotles.
Add in a large bowl the ground beef, ground sausage, bread crumbs, egg, and chipotles.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil your hands, and begin to mix by hand.
Once everything is well mixed form into golf ball size balls.
Set your grill up for INDIRECT grilling, oil the grates, add a chunk of your favorite smoking wood.
Place meatballs in the void between the coals and cook 10 minutes, turn and cook another 10 minutes. They should feel firm to the touch when done. If in doubt pull one from the middle and cut it open, if it’s done eat it.
Once done place the meatballs in an aluminum pan, add your favorite BBQ sauce, cover with foil, and either place back on the grill, or in the oven on the warm setting.
Add some fresh coals if necessary and arrange for DIRECT grilling.
Place the peppers and onions in a well oiled grill pan, season with salt and pepper.
Grill until al dente.
When the peppers and onions are done begin assembling the sandwiches.
Remove some to the bread from the inside of the bun to make plenty of room for all that good stuff you just cooked. Well that and to keep your meatballs from rolling away.
Lay down a nice bed of onions and peppers.
Top with meatballs and cheese.
Then one last trip back out to the grill, (or at this point you can toss them in the oven, it doesn’t matter) to melt the cheese.
Plate, and serve.
Notice we didn’t spend a lot of time on plating. We were HUNGRY.
Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with. Have fun.