RECIPE: Bourbon Meatballs

woodie2December 10, 2008

Thought I'd share this recipe that I enjoyed this past weekend while visiting family - DD now makes these every Christmas for the Bunco Babes Christmas Party and there are never any leftovers. These are definitely cocktail party meatballs and not something you would serve for dinner. Beware - you really have to like Bourbon, LOL, you could get drunk on these meatballs!


2 cups barbecue sauce

1 1/2 cups bourbon

1 cup honey

1 cup prepared mustard

1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 (32 oz) package frozen cooked Italian style meatballs, thawed (from BJ's)

Cook first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes. Add meatballs, bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

Yield 10-12 appetizer servings

(Source: Southern Living)

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Whoo-eee Woodie - that's a lotta bourbon! Sounds tasty and I've copied it to try later. Thanks!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2008 at 6:55PM
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Sounds like a nice change from the ones I usually make but we Canadians don't "do" Bourbon......I'm not even sure I know what it tastes like. Is it like Rye Whiskey?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Sharon, honey......
Burbon is "corn likker" drunk with a "houn' dawg" close by...or perhaps by a "genleman" with a panama hat settin' on the porch.
Rye whisky is made with a large percentage of Rye spirits....and is a huge component of "Canadian"...blends which include Canadian Club, Canadian mist, Seagrams seven, Walker's etc etc.
Straight bourbon makes the shivvers run down my spine....makes my eyes cross and my hands shake.
Nothing like rye whisky!....which really tastes a lot like Scotch.
Go buy a bottle of Old turkey...or Old Overholt...or Jack Daniels and see what the U.S. drinkers ( well some of them!) are drinking.
Linda C....sipping the Scotch!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Good tutorial, Linda! I've never had Bourbon except in Mustang's little smokies recipe or this meatball recipe so I know nothing about how it tastes except with some bbq sauce with it - and I like it that way :)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 11:15AM
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Heathens! LOLOLOLOL!

Though I do love my scotch, give me a fine single barrel bourbon any day! These sound terrific. Sharon, if you can find a little Makers Mark, give that a taste!


    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 12:57PM
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Might go looking. I always send the chile sauce/grape jelly version with Clive for his office pot luck....what can I say they love them! I make a double batch and they are all scarfed up!

Might be fun to send them this version this year, may just perk up the office party! LOL

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Glad I found this!
I lost the bourbon sauce recipe and din't know how much to put in the sauce.
I use those little sausages or mini hot dogs also for this sauce, use a crock well

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Just to keep the bourbon flowing, here is Mustang's good recipe!

Sharon, in case you do try the meatballs, just know that DD had them simmering for about an hour or more - sort of forgot about them - but they were so good, so maybe the longer simmering time is to an advantage. And she did use the packaged meatballs, sure it would be better with homemade, but they were very, very tender I must stay. I've never had the packaged meatballs (from BJ's) before.


3 pound package Lil Smokies
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 bottle 12 oz Heinz Chili Sauce
12 oz bottle of Bourbon
I bake Lil Smokies (I buy the Sam's Club size for this amount of sauce) on a cookie sheet to get some of the grease out. While they are baking I make the sauce. In a sauce pan put: dark brown sugar, Heinz Chili Sauce, rinse the chili sauce bottle by filling it with bourbon. Simmer until thickens. Add degreased Lil Smokies, simmer for a few minutes then keep warm in a chafing dish. Serve with toothpicks or hor de ouver forks.
There are many variations I'm sure, this is my TNT rendition.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I had a bottle of bourbon set up on my bar for a few years as only one friend drinks it. The sunlight turned it completely clear. I threw it out.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 4:04PM
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Woodie for sure it will be packaged frozen meatballs and more Likely two hours than one! !

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 4:51PM
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Made these this week for a party, and they were a big hit!
I make my own meatballs.

Cranberry meatballs
2 pounds ground chuck
2 large eggs
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 (16-ounce) can cranberry sauce OR you can use the whole cranberry suce.
1 (12-ounce) jar chili sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Shape mixture into about 54 (1-inch) balls.***I made 75 with smaller balls

Cook meatballs, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned (about 5 minutes); remove meatballs from pan, and drain well on paper towels.

Stir together cranberry and chili sauces, sugar and lemon juice. in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, and cook, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes or until smooth. Add meatballs; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until centers are no longer pink. **Because my meatballs were smaller, cooked in 10 minutes.

***The thyme, etc added an extra delightful taste to the meatballs.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 5:39PM
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How did we get off the bourbon theme?

I am going to put lil smokies on my shopping list for tomorrow, they sound great! Maybe we will do a 4 way taste test and try both sauces on both meatballs and smokies. HA!

Anyway, if you can't find a decent bourbon in Canada, I think I can still get small "nip" bottles of Blanton's, Makers Mark and Wild Turkey Rare Breed at my local state store. I am sure those small bottles will be under the limit for customs and I will happily send them up to you so you too can try some of this liquid deliciousness!

Let me know - I hate to think that one of my favorite people is being deprived!


    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Here ya go Sharon. A little primer on some of the better bourbons on the market.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good bourbons

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 7:09PM
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I have a huge Costco bottle of Makers Mark that I use for sweet potatoes. I keep forgetting I can use it in meat marinades.

Alexa, look where your link led me: bourbon recipe forum ahhhhhh.....

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 7:09PM
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WOW! That Bourbon Pound Cake will be making an appearance at my house VERY soon. I love sweet with good bourbon. TO be completely honest, I started soaking my fruitcakes in bourbon a couple of years ago and everyone who has tasted them has said they are wonderful.

Thanks for the updated link Jessy - I will be expanding my bourbon cooking a lot in the future!


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 7:27PM
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Reading this thread reminds me of the time I sent DH to the liquor store for bourbon for my pumpkin/gelatin pie. He came back with single malt scotch because he likes scotch, doesn't drink bourbon! Needless to say, I didn't pour the scotch into the pie (I think the pie went virgin that year), but now I always use Makers Mark and I buy it myself. For sure I'm going to try the bourbon meatballs and that bourbon cake. IMO, the only way to take your bourbon is in food!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 5:06PM
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Well, I was going to do the Christmas day meatballs today....and got hung up wrapping.
I was planning on making2 pounds of meat into meatballs....with lots of bread crumbs andw 'shire and garlic and pasrley and...
Then Christmas day ehating them in a sauce....usually I doctor Sweet Baby Ray's....but I was thinking of something different this year.
Lots of a bottle of bourbon won't do....a generous splash is fine...but best I stay "kid friendly".
I was thinking of my MIL's sour cream sauce....but know there would be few that would not take to that too well either.
suggestions?....and please don't suggest the grape jelly thing.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 9:07PM
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