Barbecue Meatball Sandwiches with Onions and Cole Slaw

Barbecue Meatball Sandwiches with Onions and Cole Slaw

A homemade brown sugar barbecue sauce recipe with tender meatballs that can be made into sandwiches, eaten with buttered noodles, rice or potatoes. The barbecue sauce can also be used for chicken, steak or ribs. And even as a dipping sauce for french fries, all on it’s own or with a little mayonnaise or ranch dressing mixed in.

The sauce takes on a deep burgundy color and is sweet, tangy and silky. It is made from a base of ketchup with vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, chile powder and smoked paprika. The meatballs are simply seasoned with egg, bread crumbs, parsley, onion powder and oregano.

My favorite way of eating these is on a hard roll with cole slaw piled generously on top. The cole slaw is cold, milky and crunchy while the meatballs are warm, soft and richly-flavored. A recipe for success. They make a delicious, melt-in-your mouth combo. Finger-licking good comfort food.

Brown Sugar Barbecue Meatballs

Barbecue Meatball Sandwiches with Onions and Coleslaw
(by Reeni except Barbecue Sauce adapted from Steven Raichlen via Serious Eats)

Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
2 cups Ketchup
1/3 cup White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Molasses
2 tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Chile Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

Also need:
1 large Onion, thinly sliced in half moons
2-3 tablespoons Vegetable oil

1 + 1/4 pound Ground Beef 80-85% lean
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper

Also need:
Hard rolls, hamburger rolls, sub or hoagie rolls

1. Make cole slaw first, if using.

2. Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.

3. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or soup pot saute onion in oil over medium-low heat until tender. (Work on meatballs while they saute.) When tender add barbecue sauce and bring to a slow simmer.

4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine all the meatball ingredients with a fork and form into small meatballs, measure out 4 teaspoons of the meat mixture, make a meatball and use as a guide to size the rest.

5. Pan-fry the meatballs in a lightly greased pan over medium heat on all sides until browned. You may need to work in two batches. Add the meatballs carefully to the barbecue sauce. Continue simmering for 25 – 30 minutes.

6. Serve on rolls with or without cole slaw over top or over buttered noodles, rice, potatoes or pasta.

Barbecue Meatball Sandwich

Cole Slaw

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (like Hellmann’s)
1 tablespoon White Vinegar
2 teaspoons Honey
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Thyme
Pinch or two of Celery Seed
1/4 teaspoon Sea or Kosher Salt
Fresh Black Pepper, a couple of cracks
4-5 cups of Cole Slaw mix (like Dole) or shredded cabbage/carrot mix

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together everything but the cabbage.

2. Start by mixing in four cups of cabbage and adding more if needed.

3. Refrigerate until serving.

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Barbecue Meatball Sandwich with Onions and Cole Slaw

I’m sending this to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up!

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  1. says

    Some of my boys LOVE Meatball subs – and this would be a great recipe to bring it home! While I would love the coleslaw – they would just rather slather it in A-1!

  2. Claudia says

    Do you ever do these right. I am definitely making that sauce for some meatballs. Suprise the guys in my life when they return home from the MS 150 – my son adores meatballs with barbecue sauce and this is a rich one!

  3. Jenn says

    I think a meatball sandwich is in order this week. Though, you do have me craving for some slaw right about now.

  4. Angie's Recipes says

    wow I want to grab that sandwich just out of the screen! Reeni, this looks beyond delicious!

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