Chefs across the nation have modernized spaghettiâ€™s second fiddle with highbrow ingredients like salmon and duck; not surprisingly, our version features beer. Serve them straight up with Rogue American Aleâ€”its caramel-toffee sweetness complements the ballsâ€™ meatiness, while above-average hop bitterness draws out their seasoning. The leftovers are equally heavenly on a sub with melted Provolone.
Makes: makes 14 large meatballs or 26 cocktail-size meatballsIngredients:
- 1 pound ground beef (we suggest 80 percent lean)
- 1⁄2 pound ground lamb
- 1⁄2 pound ground pork
- 1⁄3 cup bread crumbs
- 4 ounces any amber ale (try Bellâ€™s Amber Ale)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and grated
• Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Combine the beef, lamb and pork in a large bowl.
• On a cutting board, mince the garlic and salt together, then use the knife’s blade to press the garlic and salt into a paste.
• Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl, and add the eggs, amber ale, Italian seasoning, pepper and onion; mix well until combined. Pour the liquid over the meat, add the bread crumbs, and mix until all the ingredients are well-combined.
• Using mounds about the size of a lime (or smaller for cocktail-size meatballs), roll the meat mixture into balls. Repeat with the remaining meat mixture and place the finished meatballs on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the meatballs have an internal temperature of 165 degrees; serve hot.
Curried Meatballs: Use only 1/2 pound of ground beef and increase the ground lamb to 1 pound. Substitute the amber with North Coast Old Stock Ale, replace the Italian seasoning with 1 tablespoon curry powder and two caramelized yellow onions. Pair this curry-spiked version with AleSmith Horny Devil to enhance the spice.
Barbecue Meatballs: Swap the amber ale for Ayinger Celebrator, the Italian seasoning for 1/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, and the black pepper for 1 tablespoon of dry rub. Drink with the leftover Celebrator to smooth out the spice and highlight the sauce’s tomato flavors, and serve with barbecue sauce for dipping.
Caribbean Meatballs: Leave out the garlic, onion, Italian seasoning and black pepper; instead, mix in 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup chopped pineapple,1/2 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut for a tropical spin. Switch the amber ale for Allagash White. Pair the balls with Hoegaarden Grand Cru for a delicious marriage of orange and coriander with coconut and pineapple.