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.