Food · Recipes

Drunken Bourbon Meatballs

I always love potluck days at work. Over the years, we have had more than a dozen, and every time my coworkers step it up to a whole ‘nother level of awesome flavortown. Today we had another and I decided to really experiment with a new recipe I compiled internally. I saw a recipe for Drunken Meatballs which entailed ketchup, Brown sugar and whiskey. Sounds great, but I felt I could do better than frozen meatballs and ketchup. I reflected on what I’ve done, food-wise, in the past year and channeled my inner chef. I came up with some awesome Drunken Meatballs, but with a more complex but delicious flavor.

To be completely honest and transparent, my first cooking method was different from this recipe, and I feel it wasn’t ideal and a failure. What I did, the amazing flavor was there, but my meatballs were way way overcooked and left more to be desired. So, hopefully, this process compliments my vision and you enjoy them.


For Meatballs (makes about 40 small meatballs):

  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 3 scallions diced
  • 1 medium/small bulb of shallot minced
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

For glaze:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar for cooking, 1/2 cup for dipping sauce
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup for cooking, 3/4 cup for dipping sauce
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce for cooking, 1 tbsp for dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup bourbon for cooking, 1/4 cup for dipping sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Preheat your oven to 400˚ F. Make your meatballs by combining all of your ingredients into a bowl and incorporate. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and roll your meatballs into about 1 inch in diameter balls. This should be make about 40 little meatballs, try to keep them uniform in size so they cook evenly. Place them into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through.


In the meantime, add your cooking glaze ingredients to a sauce pan and turn heat on medium.  You want to let this cook down until it’s syrupy and thick. This should take between 15-30 minutes. At this point, your meatballs should have come out of the oven. When the sauce is cooked down, add your meatballs to the sauce and incorporate so they are covered in the sauce. Let this cook for a couple minutes just to combine flavors and warm the meatballs back up.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all of the ingredients. Whisk together so its incorporated and serve on the side for dipping.


Unfortunately, I don’t have a finished product picture, but it pretty much looks like meatballs with a dark sauce! Once I make these again, I will definitely update with a finished picture!



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