Friday, October 31, 2014

Bourbon Apricot Meatballs | Friday Night Bites

Happy Halloween Everyone!  I made the most amazing meatballs a few weeks ago and have been super excited to share them with all of you.  If I am being completely honest, I ate 3 or 4 meatballs right out of the pan as I pulled them from the oven – they were simple divine on their own.  Now comes the Bourbon Apricot sauce and they soon go to the top of the scale.  They will be my “go to” appetizer for the upcoming holiday season.

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The secret I have found for making meatballs that rock the world is white bread soaked in milk plus some parmesan cheese.  The combination adds moisture, richness and an umami quality.  They are actually really simple to make and you will probably never go back to purchasing the frozen meatballs at your local grocery store again.  The extra time commitment is well worth it – trust me.

With November literally around the corner, it is time to think about booking out this season’s holiday events.  We already have two parties cemented on our calendar for season with a few more to be confirmed. I love this time of year with the cooler temperatures, rainy days, the stores are decorated for the holidays and all of the holiday favorites are being cooked and baked.  What do you love about the holiday season?

Bourbon Apricot Meatballs

Makes about 36 meatballs


½ Lb. Ground Pork
½ Lb. Ground Beef
5 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Slices White Bread, crusts removed
2 Tablespoons Milk
¼ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan

In a small bowl add the milk and small torn pieces of the white bread and let sit.  In a small pan add the olive oil and onions & garlice and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, add the pork, ground beef, sautéed onion & garlic, soaked bread in milk, parsley, salt, pepper, flat leaf parsley and parmesan cheese.  Mix well together with your hands until all ingredients are incorporated.  Use a spoon to scoop out 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture and form into a ball.  Add to a large skillet with a bit of olive oil on the bottom.  When the pan is full of meatballs, cook on the stove until each side is browned then place into a preheated 350 degree oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until completely cooked.

Bourbon Apricot Sauce

2 Tablespoon Butter
1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Medium Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Cup Apricot Preserves
1 Cup Chili Sauce
½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar
¼ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard
½ Medium Jalapeno, finely diced

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the preserves, chili sauce, ½ cup bourbon, the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and jalapeno and bring to a simmer.  Lower the heat to low and simmer while stirring often.  It should reduce to 3 cups after 20 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Bourbon and remove from the heat.  Add the meatballs and serve.


  1. Scrumptious!! I'm not a meatball fan but these look fantastic.

  2. i really mean this when I say I don't think I have seen meatballs that look this good. I love the glaze/sauce of the bourbon and apricot flavors. They look delicious

  3. Lisa, these sound out of this world! And your pictures are gorgeous.

  4. Oh, I love the apricot with bourbon! I'll be making these soon :))

  5. Hi Lisa, Maybe I missed it but I don't see in the recipe at what point you are supposed to add the milk-soaked bread. Can you clarify please? These look divine! :)

    1. Thank you Marie! I just updated the recipe - thanks for catching. ENJOY!

  6. LIsa, I was wondering if you could make the sauce ahead of time?

    1. Great Question - I believe you could make the sauce ahead of time. It is really simple and doesn't take too much effort to make. Enjoy!


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