You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Bacon balls will score big as Superbowl fare

Whether you’re hosting a Super Bowl party or attending one and need a dish to take, these meatballs are sure to score big with your family and friends. I made a batch and brought to work — the consensus among my taste testers is that the unique blend of flavors and texture is definitely a guilty pleasure. They kept going back for more. The magic ingredient: definitely the bacon lardons, but the heavy cream, smoked cheddar and ricotta also helped helped put this dish over the top.

What we made:


1 tablespoon olive oil

7 ounces oak-smoked bacon lardons

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

2 free-range eggs

scant 1/2 cup heavy cream

7 ounces ricotta cheese

1 1/2 pound boneless beef chuck, ground

5 ounces smoked cheddar, shredded

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line two large baking pans with nonstick parchment paper. If you only have a single baking pan, you will need to cook the balls in batches.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the bacon lardons and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until they are crisp.

Put the breadcrumbs into a mixing bowl. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lardons from the skillet to a cutting board and pour the juices and oil from the skillet into the breadcrumbs. Chop the lardons finely, then add them to the breadcrumb mixture and allow to cool.

Beat the eggs and cream in a large mixing bowl, then add the ricotta, stirring well to break up any large lumps. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix with your hands until well combined.

Heat a small skillet over high heat. Break off a small amount of the mixture, flatten between your fingers and fry until cooked. Taste to check the seasoning and the smokiness and add more salt, pepper and paprika if necessary. Form the mixture into 30 balls, each 2 inches in diameter, packing each one firmly. Place them on the prepared baking pans.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through. The balls should begin to brown on the top. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn underneath.

A delicious way to gain weight, these bacon balls can be served as is or paired with a sauce. The book offers recipes for recommended pairings including Simple Tomato Sauce (see P. 99) and a slab of Potato Rosti (see P. 131) or with a fried egg and some Wild Mushroom Sauce (see P. 92) or hollandaise.

The book: “The Meatball Cookbook: Great Balls of Fire” by Jez Felwick. 160 pages, $19.99. Published by Mitchell Beazley, 2013.

What you get: More than 70 recipes for meatballs, fish balls, veggie balls, sauces and dips and side dishes.

In his own words: “Everyone loves a meatball: the flavor combinations and possibilities are endless, they’re fun, they’re comforting, they conjure up all sorts of nostalgic childhood memories because people have grown up eating them, and almost every culture has its own variation.” — Jez Felwick

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer
Tuna, star of the Amazing Acro-Cats, dies of cancer

The cowbell won't sound quite the same now that Tuna, the star of the Amazing Acro-Cats cat circus, has died.Happy Cats Haven posted the news Friday on its Facebook page: "To all our fans of Tuna and The Rock Cats and the Amazing Acro-Cats, it's with many tears that we let you know that Samantha Martin's star kitty Tuna crossed the Rainbow Bridge...
7 small changes that will have a big impact
7 small changes that will have a big impact

It’s only a few weeks into 2017, but you’ve already come to an uncomfortable and familiar realization. New Year’s resolutions result in more guilt and depression than achievement. Forget about the big aspirations for a transformational do-over. They don’t work. How about making some small changes today that eventually can have...
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters
Let’s have a cheer for the Amherst Hamsters

Amherst, a tiny college of 1,795 really smart scholars in Massachusetts, made news last year when the board of trustees voted to drop Lord Jeffs as its athletic teams’ unofficial mascot. Lord Jeffery Amherst, historians discovered, was not necessarily a nice person. The 18th century British general reportedly once suggested giving smallpox-infested...
Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip
Stark numbers show heroin’s local grip

An average of seven Montgomery County residents a day were treated for drug overdoses by emergency departments in 2016, and one person alone made eight trips to the ER. Eleven people were treated twice in the same day for overdoses. The stark figures — amassed largely due to a devastating heroin epidemic — are found in a new Public Health...
After a cesarean, some women can have a vaginal birth

Premier HealthNet is one of the largest groups of pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine, and urgent care practices in southwest Ohio. For more information, go online to Birthing a baby can be a long, painful process, but for many women the experience fulfills a deep emotional longing as a new mom. A vaginal birth...
More Stories