Monday, August 4, 2014

Bacon & Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs


8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. ground beef or chuck
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 Tbsp. beef stock
8 to 10 bocconcini mozzarella balls
Marinara sauce for serving

If you can't find the mozarella balls, hey - just use any type of block cheese or string cheese!
I don't think shredded would work as well, though.  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook's Note:  I am a big proponent of using what you have on-hand, and I forgot to get bacon, so I just used REAL bacon pieces (we usually have those in the fridge for salads).  1 Tablespoon bacon bits/pieces = 1 slice of bacon.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, Worcestershire, onion soup mix, bread crumbs, black pepper, stock and the chopped bacon.  Cook's Note:  Remember, anytime a recipe calls for chicken or beef stock, you can substitute prepared bouillon in the recipe.  Bouillon powder or cubes are something I also keep in the pantry.

Cook's Note: I only had one container of mozzarella of 4 bocconcini, so I cut them into thirds to make them go farther. :) I also experimented with string cheese blocks in some of the meatballs.

Form portions of the meat around bocconcini to make smooth balls.

Place the meat in the palm of your hand.

Flatten it out a bit

Place cheese piece in the middle
Here is the example with the string cheese. 
Gently start bring the meat up and around the cheese...

Pinching and turning as you go...

..Until the cheese it totally encased.

Arrange the meatballs on a sheet pan with a rack (I used my cookie cooling rack)  and bake until thoroughly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Remember, cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160ºF.

Some of that ooey, gooey cheese goodness may peek out...that's ok!  LOL

Remove the meatballs from the pan to a serving platter and serve with the marinara sauce.

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