The first mention of MOINK Balls was on August 2nd, 2008 on the BBQ Brethren Forum. Larry ‘ BBQ-Grail’ Gaian took a bag of Italian meatballs from the freezer at his supermarket. He covered them in BBQ rub, wrapped a slice of bacon around them, smoked them and at the end glazed them with BBQ sauce. The MOINK Ball was born. The name comes from MOO from the beef en OINK from the pork.
The good folks at the BBQ Brethren forum love a good joke and started a MOINK Ball committee. If you showed that you made your MOINK Balls according to the rules you would receive a certificate. One of those rules was the correct spelling, MOINK has to be spelled out in capitals!
Another rule was that the meatballs had to be store bought, frozen Italian meatballs. For me that rule was a hurdle since here in the Netherlands they don’t sell those at the supermarket. So I contacted Larry and asked him how I could become a certified MOINK Baller if I wasn’t able to buy one of the key ingredients. Larry came back with another rule: ‘If you live in a country where you can’t buy frozen Italian meatballs you are allowed to make them from scratch.’. Since I was the one that initiated this exception the rule was named after me and thus became the ‘noskos’ rule.
I came up with a recipe for the meatballs and made my MOINK Balls. They made me the first certified MOINK Baller in the Netherlands.
Since those early days a lot has happened with the humble MOINK Ball. There were MOINK Ball days where people all over the world made MOINK Balls to earn a special certificate. Butchers sell them here during summer. Thanks the barbecue book I just finished the recipe ended up in the Dutch edition of Playboy magazine and Panorama, another well read Dutch magazine. But I think the highlight of the MOINK Ball must have been when Jacques in ‘t Veld from El Hambre BBQ was able to offer them to King of the Netherlands, His Royal Highness Willem Alexander. He made his MOINK according to the noskos rule. So the King ate something I dreamt up, how cool is that?
MOINK Balls (about 30 pieces)
For the meatballs:
750 grams minced beef, at least 20% fat
40 grams grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
60 grams Italian breadcrumbs
120 grams / milliliters milk
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon dried oregano
15 slices of bacon, cut in half
BBQ rub, your favorite
BBQ sauce, your favorite or Larry’s Original Raspberry Balsamic Chipotle MOINK Ball Sauce (see recipe below)
smoke wood, 1 chunk or a hand full of chips, I prefer apple or cherry wood
Combine the ingredients for the meatballs and mix through. Roll balls that are slightly smaller than a golfball.
Sprinkle barbecue rub on your balls.
Put half a slice of bacon around each ball and secure with a toothpick.
Prepare your barbecue for indirect use at 107-121°C / 225-250°F. A smoker or ceramic barbecue works best for this.
Add the smoke wood and place the MOINK Balls on the grate away from the fire. If you have one, place a thermometer in one of the balls.
After about an hour the MOINK Balls have reached a temperature of about 60°C / 140°F, time to glaze them with the BBQ sauce. After another 30 minutes (70 °C / 160°F) they are ready.
Larry’s Original Raspberry Balsamic Chipotle MOINK Balls Sauce
240 ml seedless raspberry jam
60 ml balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 chipotles in adobo, seeds removed and minced
Heat up all the ingredients in a small saucepan. your sauce is ready when the jam is liquid.