Tribal Moose BBQ Meatballs

Tribal Moose BBQ SaucesWhen sent a bottle of Tribal Moose Cranberry BBQ Sauce, what can you do but make

BBQ Meatballs

Nothing, right?

Okay, I get it.  If this were Iron Chef, I’d probably not score too high in the inventiveness department, but I wanted BBQ meatballs and I had a great BBQ sauce.  Ergo, Tribal Moose BBQ Meatballs.

First thing’s first, what is Tribal Moose Cranberry BBQ Sauce?  Well, Tribal Moose is a company based out of Stayton, Oregon that specializes in producing cranberry based sauces like Cranberry BBQ sauce, Cranberry ketchup, Cranberry steak sauce, and spicy Cranberry steak sauce.

They sent me a bottle to try of their Cranberry BBQ sauce and I approached it like everything involving the word cranberry and not also involving the word “cocktail”:  apprehension.  I have found that in the range of cranberry culinary creations, there are basically two extremes: those that are really good and those that are really bad.  Since I am reviewing said product, you can guess where Tribal Moose fell.

Tribal Moose’s Cranberry BBQ didn’t have the sour, sometimes bitter taste, one often associates with non-cranberry-cocktail cranberry dishes.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t have even tasted cranberries if I hadn’t seen it on the label.  The sauce was sweet with a surprising depth, but it wasn’t fruity.  In the world of savory applications (which BBQ often is) that’s a plus in my book.

So on my meatballs the BBQ sauce went.

Tribal Moose BBQ Meatballs Recipe

A quick word about the meatballs.  This is not my Italian meatball recipe.  I figure that if I am doing BBQ meatballs, I don’t want to load the meat down with a bunch of Italian spices.  Hence, I avoided the basil and the oregano, cut down on the garlic, and added some spices I felt were more inline with a BBQ meatball. Make sure you have a meat slicer in your kitchen to make this recipe.

I also didn’t cook the meatballs in the sauce very long like I would Italian style.  I did this because BBQ sauce is thicker than spaghetti sauce, so it might just burn if left on the stove too long.

You will need:

  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 10 saltine crackers, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Oil for frying the meatballs
  • 1 bottle Tribal Moose BBQ Sauce

Mix all of the ingredients except the oil and the BBQ sauce in a large bowl.  Roll out meatballs so that they are as wide as a quarter.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.  When it’s hot, add just enough meatballs so that there is about an eight of inch between them in the skillet.  Cook for 5 minutes and then flip.  Cook another 5 minutes.

(If the meatballs aren’t done, you can flip again or pop them in the microwave.  I sometimes nuke them just to be sure anyway.)

Add the BBQ sauce to the skillet and bring it to a boil.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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