BBQ Bacon Bison Meatballs

Bison has grown more popular in recent years, and is incredibly good for you. It is very lean and can dry out easily, so it’s good to pair it with something a little fatty and moist—like bacon. Cover it with some BBQ sauce, too, and you’ll have some pretty spectacular meatballs.

Prep time 25 minutes
Serves 6

12 slices thick-cut uncured bacon
21/2 pounds (1.4 kg) ground bison
1/2 cup (80 g) minced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons BBQ rub
11/2 teaspoons sea salt
11/2 (375 g) cups BBQ sauce
Cauliflower Rice or Squash Noodles, for serving

1 Slice the bacon into small pieces and cook them in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crispy.
2 Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain off all of the bacon grease except 2 tablespoons. Set the pan aside.
3 In a large mixing bowl, add the ground bison, reserved bacon, onion, garlic, BBQ rub, and sea salt. Mix everything gently with your hands and form the meat into 11/2-inch (3.5 cm) balls.
4 Heat the pan with the reserved bacon grease over medium-high heat.
5 Sear the meatballs in two batches, letting them cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until a golden brown crust forms. Transfer the meatballs into a 4-quart (3.8 liter) slow cooker and pour 1/2 cup (125 g) BBQ sauce over the top.
6 Cover and cook on low for 31/2 to 4 hours, until the meatballs are cooked through. Pour the rest of the BBQ over the top, cover the cooker, and cook for another 10 minutes (or longer if the sauce is cold).
7 Serve meatballs with desired side dish.