Mac and Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 8 ounces smoked bacon
  • Pound ground beef, 90/10 or 93/7 preferred
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • For the macaroni and cheese filling:
  • 3 ounces (about ¾ cup) elbow pasta
  • 3.5 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • ½ cup half and half
Instructions
  1. Begin by preparing the meatballs.
  2. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces and place into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the bacon until it is evenly ground and no large chunks of bacon remain.
  3. In a large bowl combine the bacon with the remaining ingredients. Mix gently until evenly combined. Scoop the meatballs into 30 balls and place on a parchment lined pan and chill, uncovered, for at least two hours.
  4. While the meatballs chill prepare the macaroni and cheese filling.
  5. Cook the elbow pasta according to the package directions, reducing the cooking time by 1 minute. Drain and rinse to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  6. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter foams add the flour and cook until the flour is just starting to turn a light golden brown color, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the half and half. Once well combine and no lumps remain increase the heat back to medium and add the cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Whisk until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cheese in three additions, making sure the cheese has completely melted before adding in the next addition. Fold in the cooked pasta.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover loosely with plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  8. To assemble the meat balls flatten one meat ball and add a rounded tablespoon of the macaroni and cheese filling to the center. Flatten a second ball and top the filling, then pinch the edges to seal. Roll the meatball gently in your hands to shape, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture then refrigerate the meatballs, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  9. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  10. Uncover the meatballs and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the center of the meatballs are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Let the meatballs cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Evil Shenanigans at http://evilshenanigans.com/2015/10/mac-and-cheese-stuffed-meatballs/