By Chef Jonathan Scinto

From my recent stay in Kansas City, I started thinking about a recipe that highlighted the essence of Missouri food and culture, while focusing my attention to the unmatched quality of Certified Hereford Beef.

This dish is inspired by two Missouri restaurants, Slingers and Cascones, that I had a chance to dine at. I’m known for my bold flavors, so adding in a little Kansas City BBQ and some rustic love of Italian comfort food made it a match made in beef heaven.

With Memorial Day approaching us, I took my recent experiences on the ranch in KC and decided to turn up the classic meatball/burger with my inspirations mentioned earlier into a new classic Memorial Day dish that will be a legend for many years to come. Please welcome to the family …”The Mizzou Q-Ball.”

5 pounds ground Certified Hereford Beef
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15.5 oz. can Bush’s Best Chili Magic (Texas medium)
1 24 oz. package thick cut applewood bacon (6 strips)
4 slices American cheese
1 large white onion, diced
1 cup whiskey maple barbecue sauce
4 kosher dill pickles, diced
6 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
6 tablespoons granulated onion powder
4 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 slices sour dough bread, cut each into two wedges
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, garlic and onion powder until well blended. Add the BBQ sauce and mis together until it turns a brownish red. Form into one pound balls (the size of a Q-ball or a large tomato). Repeat until four balls are made.
2. In a medium sauce pan on high heat, add the chili magic and the diced tomatoes. Stir every five minutes until it starts to bubble. reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Let site for one hour to allow flavors to come together.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a large sheet pan, add the bacon slices and cook for 20 minutes or until crispy. Remove fro oven, drain and let cool. Chop into coarse pieces and set aside. Leave oven on.
4. In an oven safe skillet on high heat, add the butter and melt. Add the four meatballs to the pan and sear on one side for about three to four minutes or until a brown crust forms. Remove from heat and transfer to oven for 30 minutes or until clear juices run. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes, adding the cheese immediately on each ball so it melts. Remove from pan.
5. Lightly toast the sour dough bread and cut into tri-wedges.
6. On a plate of your choice, add the chili to the plate, then place the meatball on the chili. Drizzle the chili juice on the cheese. Top with pickles, onions and bacon. Add the bread wedges. Enjoy!

Source: American Hereford Association