Meatballs in tomato sauce on the Weber


This was one of those times where I wanted to fire up the BBQ but I needed to do something different than the ol’ standards.

Enter the meatballs.

Meatballs are absolutely banging when they’re cooked in any type of BBQ, and also tasty as when cooked in the oven. The choice is yours. But these meatballs? These meatballs were desitined for the Weber kettle today.

NB This recipe for meatballs is not one my own brain created, but in fact it is a recipe given to me by a previous employer who is of Italian descent. When I say recipe, I do believe there was not so much a recipe as a (very) short list of ingredients… two ingredients in fact; “ricotta and pinenuts”. I think maybe she was losing her mind a little and was just muttering some random words to herself as she walked by, never-the-less I took this as a sign from baby Jesus himself that I should be putting ricotta and pinenuts into my meatballs. So into my meatballs the ricotta and pinenuts went.

Also, just remember meatballs are so easy to make even a child could do it… so, well, you know… don’t be afraid to get your kids to help or even force them to take the whole process and make it their own.

All of the good things

Those balls all rolled up and bally looking

Just having a little simmering-over-the-coals party

MEATY BALLS

(serves 4-5)

500 g beef mince
500 g pork mince
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh ricotta, crumbled
¼ cup pinenuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup currants
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 small handful of parsley, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest of half a lemon
2 slices sour dough bread, crusts removed, processed into coarse breadcrumbs
A big pinch of salt and pepper
3 cups of your favourite pasta sauce – Dolmio, tomato pasatta, nona’s home made special tomato sauce, tinned tomatoes or heinz tomato sauce (depending on your own personal preference and presence of taste buds) – tomato pasatta wsa my choice
Grated parmesan, to serve
Soft polenta, to serve

Preheat your BBQ or oven to 200 C-ish (390 F).
Saute onion and garlic until softened and just starting to colour.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients excpet tomato sauce and mix until amalgamated.
Roll your meatballs*. I rolled mine somewhere in the vicinity of the size of a golf ball.
Pour your sauce of preference into a baking or casserole dish that will fit your balls (heheh).
Place the meatballs into the sauce and then into the BBQ or oven for somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes.
Check to see if they are cooked by whatever method you see fit.
Check seasoning in the sauce and adjust if necessary.
Serve on soft polenta with extra sauce, a splash of oilve oil and grated parmesan.

*there is no ‘wrong way’ when it comes to rolling meatballs.

Really good meatballs

JR’s Smokehouse Barbecue – more than just a smokehouse barbecue… actually, it is totally just a smokehouse barbecue and a damn fine one at that

jrs smokehouse barbecue coolangatta
This has been a long anticipated date for me.

I have been very excited since hearing that Gold Coast to Byron Bay caterer, JRs Smokehouse Barbecue, had moved into their own little shop front in Coolangatta, just an hour up the road from us.

The menu looks a little bit like this
The menu looks a little bit like this

Initially we ventured up here on the wrong days (this place being closed Sunday and Monday) but then we remembered we can actually find out everything we need to know about this place on the world wide interweb which, much like the climax of the female of the species, was no further than a well trained flick of the finger away. We looked at a thing called a web-site, which in turn told us when this holy church of wood smoked goodness would be open, and in turn when barbecue Jesus (AKA Joel) would be turn his body into smoky, smoky brisket, ribs, pulled pork and hot links, and of course his blood into Coopers ale.
All of the good shit plus a little pulled pork
All of the good shit plus a little pulled pork

So, the aforementioned web-site told us that this holy place would be open for lunch on Saturday and the opportunity quickly presented itself so we got our asses and the asses of our children and even enlisted the asses of Jennee’s brother, Queenie, and his family for this evangelical smoky awakening.
My dinner plus beer and home made condiments... you know I love home made condiments
My dinner plus beer and home made condiments… you know I love home made condiments

That chicken... I ate some of that
That chicken… I ate some of that

There's the volcano nachos on the right... I think I ate some of them too
There’s the volcano nachos on the right… I think I ate some of them too

I have point-formed the heck out of my meaty experience just to make this whole thing manageable for myself…

• The brisket was so soft it was melting in my mouth and out of my face and dripping down onto my boobies… well I don’t have boobies but I do have some strange assed fantasies that’s for sure. I am pretty sure I was dribbling a little when I ate the brisket. This was hands down, ripped of and fricking replanted, the best piece of brisket I have ever eaten. Better than mine, better than yours, just damn good.
• The ribs made me feel a little special on the inside.
• The pulled pork with mustard sauce was moist and melty and a little awesomely tangy from the mustard sauce. Mustard sauce and my family are two things I truly love about this world.
• The house recipe hotlink with jalapeno and cheddar was fricking amazing. This was seriously one of the best snags I have put in my face in a long while; popping in my mouth, spurting its cheesy goodness, with just a hint of jalapeno and a whole heap of smokiness. I’m pretty sure that sentence had words in it that are not allowed to go together.
• The chicken tasted like chicken but better because it was covered with smokiness and still moist and delicious on the inside.
• The beans were smoky and had a suspiciously porky looking product in them so they were born to win.
• I was looking for more dressing on the salads, but it would also be true to say that I was certainly not there for the salads. The pickles and home made condiments more than made up for any issues I had there.

This is a place that you should make an effort to get to if you are even remotely into barbecued goodness and with-in range… and when I say “remotely into barbecued goodness” I mean you have a mouth and are any kind of omnivore/carnivore, and “with-in range” is clearly referring to someone who has a mouth and is any kind of omnivore/carnivore (that’s not a typo). Maybe just call ahead or check the interweb for opening hours. Yeah, do that.

JR’s Smokehouse Barbecue, 39-41 McLean St, Coolangatta, QLD