Tailgating is, for me, in its simplest terms about enjoyment. It can be the enjoyment of spending time with friends, family and fellow fans of our team. It can be about enjoying the anticipation of a big game. In my book, tailgating is all those things but the enjoyment of the food is where it’s really all about for me.
I’ll be the first to admit that finger food normally doesn’t appease me all that much. As a matter of fact, I like to think of finger food as anything edible I can hold in one hand. I guess you could call that fingers food. But there is one small bite that encompasses everything that is great about tailgating food. It’s called the MOINK Ball.
If you go to a fancy restaurant, the chef may send out a small single bite appetizer meant to entice your pallet. It’s called an Amuse-Bouche, and literally translated it means “mouth amuser”. The MOINK Ball is a small single bite bit of mouth amusing or your tailgating events.
Why the strange name? There’s a long story behind it, but basically it’s a little bit of MOO (cow/beef) and a little bit of OINK (pig/pork) = MOINK. They are simple to make and I promise you, if done correctly, they will be the hit of your tailgating experience.
The Original MOINK Ball
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 90 mins
Total time: 1 hour 50 mins
Preferred Cooking Device: Smoker
Moink Ball Ingredients
- 24 frozen (1 oz size) Italian Beef meatballs, thawed
- 12 strips thin sliced bacon
- Favorite BBQ Seasoning/Rub
- 24 toothpicks
MOINK Ball Glaze
- 1 bottle BBQ Sauce (use one you like that’s not overly sweet)
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Chipotle powder to taste
Instructions for MOINK Balls
- Cut your bacon strips in half.
- Wrap 1/2 slice of bacon around each meatball and secure with a toothpick
- Season, liberally, with your favorite BBQ seasoning/rub
- Set aside until MOINK Balls are to room temperature.
Instructions for MOINK Ball Glaze
- Combine BBQ Sauce, raspberry jam, balsamic vinegar and chipotle powder in a sauce pan and eat over low heat. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Set aside.
- Bring your grill to temperature. If you are using a smoker set it up to cook at about 225 to 240 degrees. If you are using a charcoal or gas grill set it up to cook with INDIRECT heat at as low a temperature as you can get.
- You need to cook the MOINK Balls slow over indirect heat. If you try this over direct high heat the bacon will flare and burn.
- Cook the MOINK Balls until the bacon is almost completely done (crisp). This should take about 75 to 90 minutes depending upon your temperature.
- Sauce each MOINK Ball with the glaze and return to the smoker or grill for another 20 minutes to set the sauce.
- Serve immediately…and get ready for requests for more.
Larry Gaian is the founder of The BBQ Grail. Follow him on Twitter @BBQGrail.