An Aggie game day food idea, featuring ground beef meatballs, covered in a sweet and (slightly) spicy chipotle-raspberry barbecue sauce.
Although I may not be a football aficionado, I always know when Aggie game days are just around the corner, as both of my little girls have early September birthdays. In fact, their birthday weekend always falls on the first TAMU game of the season. It’s like having a birthday on Christmas, because in a football-loving town like B/CS, under no circumstances ever, do you plan a child’s birthday party during an Aggie football game unless you want it to be desolate. No siree.
In these parts, interrupting the fight’n Texas Aggies is borderline sacrilegious, and my dear husband has not failed to give me pre-warning in this regard for a solid seven years running now. Yes, here, football is taken very seriously, and game days are not to be interrupted unless there are life and death circumstances hinging. So rather, we plan our children’s birthday parties around the Aggie football games, making sure friends and family can make it to their tailgate with ample time to get out there and get their game day faces on.
With the two events running so closely together (i.e. the children’s birthday party and game day entertaining), I am always looking for party food ideas that could be interchangeable to each event. And surprisingly, it’s really no difficult task, as both game day and kid-friendly food seem to go hand-in-hand. These Maroon Out Meatballs just so happen to make for an outstanding appetizer at either party. They begin like all other meatballs but are seasoned with cumin and chili powder for a boost in flavor. The sauce is a simple combination of ketchup, raspberry jam, and adobo sauce. This little party meatball is sweet, tangy and savory — and if you don’t mind me saying so, they’re the perfect bite. My children are accustomed to a little spice, but if yours are sensitive to heat, I might suggest cutting the quantity of adobo sauce in half.
I broke up this recipe into stages when I first made it: Made the meatballs the night before and whipped up the sauce the next day. This will help you to cut back on day-of to-dos. If these are going to make a debut on one of your party menus, simply transfer the meatballs, with the sauce, to a crockpot, give them a stir and place the crockpot on the warm setting. Make sure to leave a small container of toothpicks off to the side so your guests can easily get in there for a bite. It’s the perfect game day appetizer and a great addition to just about any kind of party but was designed especially for those of us sporting maroon and white this football season. Please, enjoy!
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs see "Easy Baked Meatballs" for notes on fresh bread crumbs, if needed
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
- 1/4 cup adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready two rimmed baking sheets lined with nonstick aluminum foil
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs and whole milk. Stir until crumbs have absorbed the milk and set aside. Add egg to the moistened bread crumbs and stir to combine. Add in chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir once more to thoroughly combine.
Using your hands, gently mix in the ground beef. With damp hands, roll about 2 tablespoons worth of the meatball mixture into a ball and place on the baking sheets, placing each meatball at least 1" apart. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until properly cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before handling. Using a paper towel, wipe away any grease attached to the bottom of the meatball, if desired.
For the sauce, combine the ketchup, raspberry preserves, adobo sauce, salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper in a bowl, and stir to combine.
Transfer the cooked meatballs to a large bowl, and pour over the sauce. Gently, stir to coat the meatballs. Serve right away,or transfer to a crockpot on the warm setting for the duration of your party.
Makes about 24 meatballs
Photo by: Rachel Driskell