My brother recently sent me a photo of these bacon wrapped meatballs that were inside an onion skin. They looked great but my sister-in-law thought that the onion flavor was a bit strong. So, I decided to try to make them using par-boiled onion slices.
The first step is to cut two onions off at the top and bottom to create a 2″ tall “casing” for your meatballs. Then you slice into each of the onions to cut a simple radius coming out from the center. That allows you to be able to pull out little circular “shells”.
I then put these into a pot of lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes to partially cook them. Remove them with a slotted spoon and let them drain.
My meatballs are a combination of Italian sausage, ground sirloin, leftover chopped onion, parsley, jalapeños, panko bread crumbs, a few spices and barbecue sauce.
Once mixed, I form them into 10 meatballs a little larger than a golf ball.
Then I wrapped them with an onion skin. To wrap them in bacon, I used 1 1/2 strips. Bacon is rather elastic, so I stretched out one piece, cut it in half, and wrapped it around the top and bottom of the meatball. Then, I stretched out a second one and used the full piece to wrap it around as much of the remaining exposed onion skin as possible. It’s best to secure the bacon with a wooden skewer that’s been soaked in water for a bit.
With the sausage, sirloin and bacon, these will release a lot of fat and liquids. So, I place them on a wire rack on top of an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. They go in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.
The last step is to remove them from the oven after 40 minutes and baste them with barbecue sauce and then finish them off in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. They are quite tasty.
3/4 lb Ground Sirloin
3/4 lb Mild or Spicy Italian Sausage
1 lg Egg
1/2 cu Panko
1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 med White Onions
1/4 cu Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3/4 cu Barbecue Sauce, your favorite brand
1 pkg Bacon (16 strips to a package)
10 Thin Wooden Skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
Trim the ends off of each onion and peel. Discard peel. Cut off enough of the top and bottom of the peeled onion so that the center section is about 2” in length. Set aside the extra top and bottom pieces. Stand each onion upright and cut downward starting from the center and cutting outward in one direction. Carefully peel away each layer. The core pieces will be too small, so set them aside with the reserved top and bottom pieces. Select 10 uniform sized layers between the two onions and place them in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain and cool.
Finely chop enough of the reserved onion pieces to fill a 1/2 cup measure. Store the remainder for omelets or other dishes. Place the 1/2 cup of chopped onion in a large bowl. Add the ground sirloin, Italian sausage, egg, panko, jaoapeño, parsley, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Add only 1/4 of the barbecue sauce. Mix well and shape into 10 uniform meatballs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a meatball inside of one of the softened onion curls. Take one piece of bacon and gently stretch it as much as you can without breaking it. Cut the strip in half. Wrap this piece of bacon around the top and bottom of the stuffed onion covering the exposed meat. Take a second whole piece of bacon and stretch it. Then wrap it around the onion coving as much as much of it as you, gently stretching as you go. Secure the bacon with a wooden skewer. You will be roasting these on a baking sheet. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. If you have a wire rack to place in the baking sheet it’ll keep the meatballs from roasting in their own juices.
Place meatballs in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 degrees F. Remove the meatballs and quickly baste them with the remaining barbecue sauce. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Remove and let the meatballs rest for a few minutes. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.