So, these are not my normal super clean and healthy variety recipe, BUT they are better than most health-wise. We use organic meats, gluten free bread crumbs and free-range eggs. I prefer to use fresh pineapple when it is in season, but a BPA free canned version is fine. The BBQ sauce and preserves you choose should be the cleanest version you can find. Watch for the sugar content and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Do the best you can. My latest batch included Apricot BBQ sauce and Robert Rothschild’s Hot Pepper Peach preserves and I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes too!
2 lbs. of ground elk, grass fed beef, or turkey
½ cup minced onion
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 13 oz. jar of BBQ sauce.
1 12 oz. jar of pineapple preserves.
½ cup crushed and or blended pineapple
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, preserves and pineapple together and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the meat, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley and combine well. (I find it easier to use my hands, just make sure they are clean!) Once it is mixed well, add ½ cup of the BBQ sauce mixture and mix well. You want it to be very moist, but where it still holds together in a ball.
Take a large baking sheet and lightly coat with olive oil, form the mixture into 1-2-inch balls and arrange in a single layer.
Option 1: pour the remaining sauce over the meatballs and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the meat is cooked, but not overdone!
Option 2: Bake the meatballs for 30-35 minutes, until just done. In a serving crock pot, place some of the sauce into the pot, add the meatballs and then pour the remaining sauce over the top. This method works great for larger parties.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve with toothpicks!