Cranberry & Wine Meatballs


"Vindulge" Blogger, Mary Cressler and Pitmaster Sean Martin showed us how to make delicious Cranberry & Red Wine Meatballs.

For more information about Mary and Sean, visit the "Vindulge" website.

Cranberry and Red Wine Meatballs

Serves: 20 meatballs


For the Meatballs

• ½ pound ground beef

• ½ pound ground pork

• ½ onion, finely chopped

• 1 clove garlic, finely diced

• ½ cup breadcrumbs (or breadcrumb substitute like Panko)

• ½ cup dried cranberries

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

• ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

• ½ teaspoon each, salt and pepper

For the Sauce

• 1 (16-ounce) can cranberry sauce

• 1 cup fruity red wine (Pinot Noir or other fruity red wine like Zinfandel)

• ½ cup brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


For the Meatballs

• Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.

• Mix all meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands.

• Shape into approximately 1-inch balls.

• Place on the smoker until the internal temperature of the meatballs reads 165 degrees (roughly 1 hour on the smoker). Remove from smoker and add to the cranberry wine sauce (below).

• Alternatively you can cook the meatballs on the stovetop in a heavy pot or large pan, coated with oil and set to med heat. Cook, and rotate the meatballs so all sides get browned (roughly 4-5 minutes). After they are browned transfer to an oven set to 375 for an additional 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature of the meatballs is 165 degrees.

For the Sauce

• In a medium size saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, wine, brown sugar and Dijon mustard.

• Bring to a simmer and whisk continuously for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to begin to reduce and thicken.

• Transfer the sauce to a crock-pot, add the meatballs, and gently stir together. Keep warm.