Sweet & Sour Meatballs

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Who doesn’t love meatballs?  This recipe, adapted from Saveur Magazine is a twist on traditional Italian meatballs.  The addition of brown sugar and a bit of vinegar in the sauce turns an ordinary tomato sauce into a slightly sweet and tangy treat.  With a meat grinder it is easy and fast to grind your own beef; it also allows to you know exactly what you are eating.  If you prefer you can substitute pork, turkey, or a combination of the meats for the beef.  These meatballs turned out huge so if you prefer them smaller use a 1/4 cup measure when shaping them.

I served the meatballs with garlic mashed potatoes which were perfect for sopping up the leftover sauce.  Yum!

SWEET & SOUR MEATBALLS

For the sauce:

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

  • In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil then saute the minced onion over medium heat until tender and golden, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of water, the vinegar, and brown sugar to the pan.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat then remove from the heat and set aside.

For the meatballs:

2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup long grain rice, parboiled for 3 minutes

1 cup bread crumbs

1 medium onion, coarsely grated

2 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Put the meat in a large bowl and push it to one side.
  • Add the eggs, rice, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper to the other side of the bowl and combine with a large fork.
  • Work in the meat, approximately 1/2 cup at a time until everything is fully blended.
  • Return the sauce to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  • Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, shape meatballs and drop them gently into the sauce.  You should have approximately 8 meatballs when you are done.
  • Cover and simmer slowly for 30 minutes, gently rotating and pushing the meatballs around halfway through the cooking so that they are thoroughly coated with sauce after about 15 minutes.
  • Correct seasoning if necessary and serve hot.

Serves 4

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One thought on “Sweet & Sour Meatballs

  1. Jennifer K. December 30, 2013 at 21:07 Reply

    Trying this one tonight 🙂

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