Hey you. You going to some barbecues this season? You want to impress the shit out of people with the dish you bring? Thank god. I’d hate to think slackers read my blog. Make this! It is what it says. AMAZE BALLS with an anything-but-delicate AWESOME SAUCE.
It’s basically a savory monkey bread. Caramelized onions and applewood smoked bacon, candied with brown sugar and dark beer, then shoved into pizza dough with fontina cheese and covered in garlicky olive oil. If that didn’t get ya salivating all over the place, add a warm and spicy dipping sauce made with the same dark beer, Siracha and an unexpected sweetness from raspberry jam. The spiciness really shines through the richness of the bacon balls. You’re gonna be the hit of the party. Doesn’t hurt to take an extra 6-pack though.
1lb applewood smoked bacon, diced into small pieces
1 small vidalia onion, diced
1/4 cup imperial coffee stout (I used Founder’s Breakfast Stout)
3 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz fontina cheese, shredded
garlic-infused olive oil
2 pre-made pizza doughs (I buy the Trader Joe’s brand, but feel free to use Pillsbury or make your own)
Dump bacon and onions into a preheated skillet. (I prefer iron.) Cook over medium heat until bacon is crispy. (About 10 minutes.)
Drain bacon/onions. Return skillet and bacon mixture to burner. Add the stout and the brown sugar. Continue to stir over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare your pan.* Spray your pan (and bottom/sides of your sauce cup if you choose to use one) with cooking spray. Set up your work area with pizza dough, bacon mixture and cheese.
Pull off dough in one-inch balls. Roll it a little to get a good form, then place in the center a pinch of cheese and a lil’ spoonful of the bacon. Wrap the dough around the cheese and meat to enclose it, and carefully seal together the dough so your cheese doesn’t squirt all over the place. Place them in the bottom of the baking dish.
Once you’ve reached one full layer of amaze balls in the baking dish, drizzle with garlic-infused olive oil. Repeat process. I usually need two full layers, but do what you need till you are out of balls.
Place your dish ‘o’ balls on a baking sheet because the oil may bubble over.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If you’ve used a condiment cup (as discussed in footnote below), fill the cup five minutes before it is done so it can warm in the oven with your balls.
Remove and let set for a little bit before digging in. Stop it. Stop! I’ll slap your hand. I’ll slap it right off. You’ll burn your mouth if you can’t wait. Ok. Now you can eat it.
*The easiest thing to use is a Bundt pan. What I actually prefer to do is to use a glass pyrex pan, either round pie pan or 8×8 square baking dish. I then use a small round glass Pyrex condiment cup, and place it in the center. Sorry I know that was a lengthy rant, but if you use the glass and cup method, you can put the sauce in the cup at the end and it’s a perfect little presentation.
1/4 c raspberry jam
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c imperial coffee stout (I used Founder’s Breakfast Stout)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Mix. Stir over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Let set. Dip balls in awesome sauce.