Irish Meatballs with Whisky BBQ Sauce
10 May 2021 / Beef,Pork

Irish Meatballs with Whisky BBQ Sauce

These Irish meatballs, made with a mix of lamb and pork, use Famously Thick ketchup and Irish whiskey for an easy and tasty appetizer, great for parties!

This easy Irish lamb meatball recipe uses Famously Thick ketchup and Irish Whiskey in the sauce. The entire dish can be made in less than an hour! Perfect for parties and gatherings.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 87 kcal
Author Irvin Lin


Meatball mixture

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup milk any percentage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion about 1/2 large onion

4 cloves minced garlic

1 pound ground lamb

1 pound ground pork

1 large egg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves


1 1/4 cups Famously Thick ketchup - 1 full bottle

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup Irish whiskey

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon molasses


Preheat an oven to 425°F.

Place the bread crumb in a large bowl and then drizzle the milk over it. Pour the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan and then add the onions and garlic. Cook over medium high heat, until the onions soften. About 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the onions and garlic into the bowl with the moist bread crumbs and set the pan aside (don’t clean it).

Crack the egg into a separate smaller bowl and beat in the salt and pepper. Don’t skip this step! The salt actually helps break down the egg, so it’s more fluid and liquidy. This, in turn, means the egg will incorporate easier into the mixture.

Add the lamb and pork to the bowl. Add the beaten egg and the parsley to the bowl, then start working the mixture together with a wooden spoon or your hands (I prefer my hands as I can make sure the mixture is more thoroughly mixed). Massage the mixture together, but not too roughly. You want it thoroughly mixed but not overly mixed, as that will lead to tough meatballs.

Once the mixture is homogenous, clean your hands. Get a large rimmed baking sheet and set a medium sized bowl next to it and the bowl of meatball mixture. Dip your hands into the water to moisten it, then start forming the meatballs. You want your meatballs about 1 1/2 inches wide, about the size of golf balls. Don’t pack the meatballs tightly into a ball. Just loosely shape them. Place each formed meatball on the baking sheet. Dip your hands into the water periodically if the mixture starts sticking to your hands too much.

Once all the meatballs are formed, place the pan you cooked the onions in back on the stove and turn the heat to high. Place some of the meatballs in the skillet, making sure not to crowd them too much. Cook on high heat, turning as they brown, until the meatballs have browned all the way around. Don’t worry if they aren’t cooked completely through. Just brown the sides.
Repeat with the remaining meatballs, cooking is batches as necessary. Move all browned meatballs back onto the rimmed baking sheet. Again, don’t clean the pan. And don’t worry that it had raw meat on it initially. You are going to be baking the meatballs in the pan.

Once the meatballs are all browned, placed the pan of browned meatballs in the oven and let it bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatball is 165°F.
While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce in the same pan that you browned the meatballs. Empty the bottle of Famously Thick ketchup into the pan and then add the water to the bottle and swish it around. Then pour it into the pan as well. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring the entire sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are done baking.

Once the meatballs are done, place the into the pan with the sauce, and stir to coat. Continue to cook the sauce with the meatballs in it for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the meatballs are coated completely. If the sauce thickens too much, add a tablespoon of water or two to the pan. Serve warm.
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