Recipe for Barbecue Meatballs with a hearty bacon gravy and mozzarella cheese


500g free-range beef mince
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 egg

Bacon gravy:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
250g (1 punnet) button mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
125g (6 rashers) smoked bacon, cut into smallish pieces
2 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup red wine
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
⅓ cup tomato passata
2 tablespoons fruit chutney (Mrs Balls peach chutney works well)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup weak beef stock
a pinch of dried red chilli flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
several slices of mozzarella cheese

How to
Start by making the meatballs. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and combine until the spices and bread crumbs are incorporated.

Roll into 20 – 24 evenly sized balls. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until softened.

Toss in the mushrooms and cook on a high heat until all the water has evaporated. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Move the mushrooms to the side of the pan and add the bacon and thyme. Cook for several minutes until the bacon is lightly browned.

Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half.

Add all the remaining gravy ingredients and the meatballs back into the pan.

Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

Dot with mozzarella and place under a preheated grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email