Grilled Meatballs

These can also be cooked in the oven.

For a great sandwich, toss slices of provolone cheese over them during the final minute of grilling.

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

1 medium red onion, quartered
4 anchovy fillets
3 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
10 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 can (165g/6 oz) tomato paste
1-1/4 cups unseasoned breacrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground lamb

Lightly oil the grill and preheat one side to medium-high. If using charcoal, push the coals to one side.

In food processor, combine red onion, anchovies, garlic, parsley and sun-dried tomatoes. Pulse until finely chopped, then transfer to a large bowl.

Add vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, breadcrumbs, pepper, eggs, beef, pork and lamb. Using your hands or a sturdy wooden spoon, mix until thoroughly combined.

Using the palms of your hands, roll about 3 Tbsp of meat into a ball and set on large plate. Repeat until all the meat is used. You should have 30 to 35 meatballs.

Carefully place the meatballs on the side of the grill without flame. Close the grill and cook for 15 minutes. Coat the high-heat side of the grill with oil again. Using tongs, carefully transfer the meatballs onto the high-heat side. With the grill open, cook another five minutes. After two minutes, rotate the meatballs to brown evenly.

*NOTE: It is important to follow the method above for grilling the meatballs so that they don’t fall apart on the grill and to ensure that they’re cooked through. Indirect heat is important for the first 15 minutes of cooking followed by 5 minutes of direct heat. Also, the ingredients mentioned are important as they are needed for the meatballs to be “grill-friendly”. Example: You need the 2 eggs and the amount of breadcrumbs indicated to ensure the meatballs don’t crumble and fall through the grill. This amount of breadcrumbs is needed to offset the moisture from the sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, tomato paste, etc.

Well I see I have to change my football menu for Sundays games!

Aline these sound grand! One question…

How important are the anchovies?
My hubby does not care for the flavour of them…

The anchovies are added for savoury undertones and the garlic for bite. The anchovies almost “melt” away during cooking.

I guess you can leave them out if you want. Whatever works for you. The only way to know is to try it and then make adjustments next time you make it.


The tomato paste is used because it has far more favourable results for that “marinara taste”. Adding tomato sauce adds too much liquid which results in flaming chunks of meat at the bottom of the grill.

For a more assertive tomato flavour, adding finely diced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes works well. And it also adds moisture.

These meatballs have distinct tomato and savoury notes.

Hope you enjoy!