Pineapple Bacon Meatball Kebabs
with Spicy Maple Dijon Dipping Sauce
After months of sub-zero temps and biting wind chills, the temperature FINALLY warmed up to 60 last weekend. It felt SO wonderful to get outside, I just had to fire up the grill. I had a plan: I was going to make Billionaire Burgers. You’ve heard of Billionaire meatloaf, perhaps? I was trying to do a spinoff of that … I even made homemade brioche buns to go with the burgers. My kids were having none of that, though. They gladly ate the buns, but were not in the mood for burgers. My daughter wanted pizza on the grill, and since I had some extra dough, I decided to oblige her.
But if not burgers, then what to do with the meat? I had some fresh, juicy pineapple in my fridge, so I changed my plan and made them into meatball kebabs. I had mine on a bed of spinach leaves, using the dipping sauce as a salad dressing, but you can serve them with rice or a nice quinoa pilaf.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled,& chopped
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I used Lone Mountain Wagyu ground beef)
- 2 slices lean bacon, cooked & chopped fine
- 2 teaspoons Jack Daniels whiskey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I used Maille)
- 2 teaspoons barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 of a small bay leaf, crushed into bits
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Fresh pineapple chunks
- Red onion, quartered, then cut into chunks
- Bell pepper (red, yellow or green), cut into chunks (I didn't have any fresh bell peppers on hand, but they would be PERFECT with this)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used Maille)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Sriracha (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, then saute the onion and garlic until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Remove from heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the beef, bacon, whiskey, mustard, barbecue sauce and cheese. Stir in the seasonings and salt and the sauteed onion and garlic. At this point, I put it in an airtight container in the fridge for several hours to let the flavors meld. I would recommend at least an hour.
- Now, to make the kebabs, set a layer of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. This will be your "baking" platform ... on this platform, form a meatball around the skewer, then add a chunk of pineapple and a chunk of onion and bell pepper. Repeat the pattern until the skewer is full, then start on the next skewer. Repeat until you've used up all the meat.
- Heat up the grill and set the cookie sheet on the grill. Cover and let cook for 10 - 20 minutes or until the kebabs are cooked through and nicely browned.
- While the kebabs are cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch. Put all but 1/4 cup of the sauce in a small saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining sauce in the bowl. Heat the small saucepan over medium heat, then slowly add the cornstarch mixture back into the rest of the sauce, stirring constantly. Cook for a few minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Serve warm with the kebabs.
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