Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 Star Makeover: Meatball BBQ Plate

We're back!

It's great to start up our monthly meeting of the fantastic cook minds.  The month our theme is Meatballs.

Our mission is to get creative with Meatballs and have fun in the kitchen.  Right in my wheelhouse.

I recently sat down to a wonderful BBQ lunch at my local smokehouse.  Staring at all the disparate goodness on my table sparked the idea in my brain.  I decided to turn our BBQ lunch, into this month's Meatball makeover.  Yeah, that's how my mind works.

BBQ, Laz, really?  It's not BBQ or grilling season.

Listen, it may look like this where YOU live....(Sorry T)

I live in MIAMI, we have no seasons...

Each component in this course represents a component that was on my BBQ lunch table.

My meatballs are a blend of twice ground meats...

  • 80% Lean, trimmed beef brisket
  • 20% Pork belly - added for fat content.
I used three different cooking methods to produce my meatballs.
  • First, steamed for 15 minutes in a bath of beef broth and white wine.  To cook through.
  • Second, smoked over hickory wood in a smoker.  Just 5 minutes to add that smokey flavor.  (BBQ remember?)
  • Lastly, quickly seared in Duck Fat.  To add a nice crusty exterior.
Is this labor intensive?  Probably.  However, is the final product worth it?  Will you wow your guests?
Hell yeah!

Buttery melt in your mouth tender potato croquette.  Again, fried to a crunchy golden brown exterior.

Florida sweet corn puree.  Reduced to intensive the pure sweet corn goodness.

BBQ Sauce
Tart, sweet, vinegary, smokey.  Perfect.

Cole Slaw
My posh version of the cole slaw I ate.  Assorted greens, buttermilk dressing, and sauted Florida ocean shrimp.

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. I like how you think Laz!
    Such harmony! Every element so well thought out, must have been absolutely delicious.
    And the plating is so cool, great high-style!

  2. Oh my goodness, Laz, you are truly my blog mentor. This looks and sounds absolutely incredible - you've made the humble meatball into a 5-star, fine-dining dish and I am in awe.

  3. hahahaha...way to stick it to the Northerners! :)

    Very creative...I love that it's bold in flavor but delicate in presentation.

    Can't wait to learn the assignment for next month.

  4. What a great meatball idea. Looks yummy. And I hate you for your winter Miami pic :-) Occasionally I will break out the BBQ in winter though.

  5. stunning plating as always! Boo to Winter!
    Oh next time i need to try your meatball cooking method. I wouldn't have thought to steam it first. I read some cook book saying to steam meat first before roasting but didn't think of meatballs.

    And YAY to pork belly!

  6. Glad to have our cooking group back together this month! This is quite the re-entry post, Laz. --Wow; love your spin on barbecue, and really like the way your little salad complements the crispy exterior of the duck fat seared meatballs. Heaven on a plate!

  7. Okay, okay rub it in! ; ) But seriously, if anyone was going to pull off making the meatball an elegant bite I knew it would be you. Posh, indeed!!!

  8. See, I love the technique you use...layers of flavor. I think it's brilliant. I love the sweet corn puree too (even if we up north are 6 months from local corn... this recipe I will remember.. the flirtation with surf and turf is fab too. A really great dish. Perfectly thought out.... the way you always do.

    PS I have a recipe for deep-fried meatballs I've done for years... just love it... now I may change it after this inspiration.

  9. It looks so nice in Miami. Lucky! That pool is almost (almost) distracting me from this beautiful plate of food. I appreciate every component, every detail. I really love that you smoked the meatballs.

  10. Yes!! Love how you think and execute - dynamite meatball with layers of flavor - pork belly and fried in duck fat! - then surrounded with tempting tastes of summer - we're so lucky to have grilling season year round!

  11. And, then there was duck fat. Enough said about how good this dish is.

  12. That is some BBQ food...the utmost fine dinning is were this baby is placed! What a beautiful dish all around, and your recipe/technique is flavor flawless!
    Amazing answer to the challenge my friend!

  13. How lucky are you to have that kind of weather year round! You have made a masterpiece meatball dish, I LOVE it! My fiance and I look at your site constantly, he's not too impressed with other food bloggers recipes (he's a chef, so I can understand the pickiness) but he's always asking me, what's Lazaro up to? We both love your recipes, thought you should know that lol =]

  14. You just have such a talent for turning food into the most amazing creations. Glad to see your group is back. Not that you asked but I'm super jealous of your weather. Excuse me while I go grab a blanket to keep warm ;)

  15. wow..looks yumm & inviting..
    new to your space..great space you have here..
    very interesting posts with nice presentation..
    happy following you..
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite


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