© 2011 Stacey Viera

Bacon-wrapped Matzo Balls. No…seriously.

“A million bubbies sigh.” ~ Chef Michael Kiss

“Oy! The delicious sacrilege!” Stacey exclaimed to her Facebook friends when she posted a photo of bacon-wrapped matzo balls she made last month.

It’s the kind of dish that is so wrong that it’s right. The brainchild of Top Chef star Ilan Hall, we’d heard about this recipe a while ago, but worried about the implications that making it might have on our souls. Eh. We’ll worry about eternal damnation some other time… Right now, let’s focus on the recipe.

We use a very simple one:

Mix 2 Tbsp. schmaltz/fat (ask the butcher, or use vegetable oil if you can’t find schmaltz, though your matzo balls will not be as fluffy inside with oil) with 2 lightly beaten eggs. Add ½ cup matzo meal and 1 tsp. salt. When well blended, add 2 Tbsp. soup stock or water. Cover and refrigerate at least half an hour. In a 3 qt. pot, bring salted water to a boil. Reduce heat so that water is bubbling. Wet hands and form golf ball-sized matzo balls and gently drop into water. Yields about six balls of this size. Cover and boil 30 to 40 minutes until fluffy and matzo balls rise to top of water. You can either add them to warm soup or…

After boiling the matzo balls, wrap each in a strip of bacon (we prefer the flavor of uncured bacon) and place it seam-side down on a foil-covered baking sheet. If the idea of wrapping a matzo ball in pork bacon just doesn’t jive with your dietary tendencies, go ahead and substitute for “turkey bacon.”  Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the bacon is to desired crispiness.

NPR highlighted a bacon-matzo ball recipe – enough to feed an army! – and Hall’s restaurant in a recent broadcast.

Another possible sacrilege is promoting bacon on a blog focused on healthful eating. But don’t judge us so soon on that one. It seems bacon is a favorite (nearly) sinful indulgence for many of us. Keeping it in perspective is what’s important. Enjoy bacon in moderation as you would other fat sources. Yes, we know it’s hard. Some of the lower fat bacon options are worth a try, but may sacrifice taste and/or texture. Beware of sodium, too, as some brands of turkey bacon and lower fat varieties are higher compared with the standard. There is a tendency to eat more when we know something is lower in calories or fat, so there are instances when enjoying the real deal is worthwhile.

What do you think of this recipe? Go ahead, cast the first stone! Do you use turkey bacon or other lower fat brands, and if so, what do you think?

Share the joy


  1. Sharon
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm | #

    My grandmother, who converted, once served pork chops to the rabbi. I feel that it is just following family tradition to make this. Can’t wait!

  2. Elayna
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm | #

    This is just insensitive. I don’t think people understand that pig in all it’s shapes are not only something that Jews don’t eat, but is something actually offensive. I think by wrapping bacon around a matzah ball, made from the bread of affliction, is an insult to humanity.

  3. Josh
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 2:01 am | #

    @alayana get over yourself. Seriously. If you don’t like it, don’t make it.

  4. Steve
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 4:45 am | #

    @Elayna: Of course if you were truly observant, you would not eat matzah balls at all on Pesach, as mixing matzah with liquid could result in the flour rising. Hasidim will only mix matzah with liquid on a the 8th (rabbinic) day of the festival, which we all know was added because there were no atomic clocks to indicate sundown in Jerusalem if you weren’t already there…

    In all seriousness, insult to humanity? Missiles aimed at schoolbuses while claiming victim status sure, but a treyf wrapped dumpling? Me thinks you are being overly dramatic.

  5. Lucy
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm | #

    Oh come on Elayna, get over yourself. I’m a Jew and I think they sound INCREDIBLE! Chill out and get off your high horse.

  6. Posted November 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm | #

    I noticed your recipe doesn’t call for baking powder? Is that correct or just missing? they look lovely

  7. Stacey Viera
    Posted November 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm | #

    Thanks for your question, Marie. We’ve never used baking powder in matzo balls before. Might be worth a try!

  8. Frederick
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm | #

    As an Afro-American raised in part by a Jewish family i was delighted when i saw this show and recipe on PBS..for us gentiles who love many of the traditional Jewish food,this appealed tp me..a wonderful combo which i will make and serve Christmas eve at our Church…We are all in choice here.. so you like..you make ..if not so be it.

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This entry was written by Stacey Viera, posted on March 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm, filed under Carbohydrates, Proteins, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. View EXIF Data