Barbeque Lil Smokies Makeover

Chinese Barbecue Buffalo Meat Balls

It’s hard to pardon with Lil’ Smokies and barbeque sauce on game-day but try these meatballs and you’ll sure find the transition to uncured meats is painless. These meatballs are a delicious party food with a tangy Asian-fusion ‘kick’ to inspire your favorite NFL team and guests. A great Paleo-appetizer or entrée.

Serves: 8

  • 1 pound ground buffalo meat or grass-fed organic lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for searing

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Found in the Asain aisle of your local supermarket; note: careful to look at ingredient list. Avoid brands that contain corn syrup.)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon white wine or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Garnishes: sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, gently combine all meatball ingredients except the olive oil and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed – careful not to over mix.
  3. Form the mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs.
  4. Heat olive oil in large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the meatballs in batches, careful not to overcrowd, and brown the meatballs on all sides – about 5 minutes.
  5. Add all meatballs back to the pan and transfer to oven. Bake 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160° F.
  6. Meanwhile, in small saucepot, combine all glaze ingredients. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.
  7. To serve, brush meatballs with glaze and sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds. For game day fun, insert toothpicks and serve on a platter for non-sticky fingered snacking.

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