Country meatballs with gravy are a wonderful comfort food dish but grill them with a little smoke then you have something really special! These are a family favorite that can be served on top of egg noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, on top of bread for an open faced sandwich, or just on their own. My Instant Pot Spiced Peach Crisp is the perfect dessert to follow up this dinner. Directions for making this dish gluten free and keto are included below.
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Why country meatballs?
With a ton of meatballs recipes out there already you might ask what makes these different? A mixture of ground beef and Italian sausage with a ton of wonderful spices added make these a nice departure from Italian or Swedish meatballs. Added to the grill cooked over indirect heat with a smoke box that adds a touch of smoky flavor during the cooking process. Or you can cook in the smoker or oven. This is followed by simmering them in some brown gravy made from scratch.
Prepare the country meatball mixture
In a large mixing bowl or mixer combine the ground beef, Italian sausage, diced onion, Montreal steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce (reduce by half for keto or use a keto approved substitute), and hot red pepper flakes.
Form mixture into 2-inch balls with your hands or a meatball molder tool.
Place formed meatballs into a pan, and head out to the grill.
Cook the country meatballs
Preheat the grill with all burners on. Put some wood chips or small pieces of wood into a smoker box. Leave one burner on high at the far end of the grill, and one on low. Turn the rest of the burners off. Place the smoker box over the burners that have been left on. Arrange the country meatballs on the bottom over the burners that are off, and the top rack.
To cook in the smoker use a mixture that is high on charcoal with a small amount of wood for smoky flavor for the same 45 minutes or until done.
To cook in the oven preheat oven to 350-degrees and cook for 45 minutes or until done. You cannot use the smoke box in the oven, but they will still be delicious.
Cook the meatballs for about 45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165-degrees. Turn the meatballs hafl way through the cooking time. While the meatballs are cooking it’s time to make the gravy.
In a large cast iron dutch oven either on the side burner or the stove melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Once melted add the flour and stir to combine. Let the flour mixture cook for a few minutes to get rid of any doughy taste. Add to this 4 cups of beef broth. Let it come to a boil as it thickens. Once the meatballs are cooked add them to the gravy and simmer for about 30 minutes. To make this gluten free omit the flour and make a cornstarch slurry to add to the melted butter and beef broth. For keto, use wheat flour, arrowroot, or another substitute to thicken the gravy.
Additional tips for great country meatballs
Dice the onions finely, and grate some for a more intense onion flavor. Use sweet onions so the taste is more palatable.
Break up one of the meatballs and add to the gravy for extra depth.
Grilled Country Meatballs with Brown Gravy
Country Meatball Mixture
- 4 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound Italian sausage removed from casing
- 1 onion very large, or two small, diced
- 4 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tsp hot red pepper flackes
- 4 tbsp butter I used unsalted for lower sodium
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 cups beef broth
- Combine all ingredients in the Country Meatball mixture section into a bowl and combine well.
- Form into roughly 2-inch balls, and put in pan.
- Preheat grill and put wood chips in smoker box. Leave one burn on high at the far end of the grill, and one on low. Turn remaining burners off. Place smoker box over burners that are on.
- Place meatballs on top rack, and off to the side of the burners that are on on the bottom rack.
- Cook on indirect heat for 45 minutes or until done. They will be done when they reach an internal temperature of 165-degrees. Turn once halfway through cooking for even browning.
- To make the gravy, place a cast iron dutch oven or large pot on the side burner or stovetop. Melt the butter, and add the flour. Whisk in and keep stirring for a few minutes to cook the mixture. Add the beef broth and stir while the mixture thickens.
- Add the cooked meatballs to the gravy and simmer for 30 minutes then serve.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week.