Sweet and Sour Meatballs

My sister and I were talking about how ground beef somehow is the starting point for Yom Tov cooking. First, you are in denial about how much needs to be done, then you just go out and buy a couple of packages of ground beef, knowing that it will force you to get started. Sweet and Sour Meatballs, in particular, is  “gateway” recipe for getting into the groove of cooking and baking and freezing ahead. They are easy to make, freeze well, and you know that you need to make meatballs.

Instead of the usual cranberry/tomato sauced meatballs, my husband asked for the grape jam kind. Usually this kind is excessively sweet, so I went with a recipe that went pretty light on the jam. The overall flavor reminded me a bit of the sauce that goes with stuffed cabbage–tangy sweet, but not cloying. I added a little sriracha sauce to give it a little hint of savory, garlicy, spicy oomph.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
The meatballs are evolved from a recipe from Naomi Ross, but the sauce is inspired by another recipe, which originally called for a combination of tomato juice and crushed tomatoes. I went with the smoother texture of canned tomato sauce because of the aversion of certain family members to little bits of vegetables in the sauce (it must be completely smooth or forget it).

Meatball mixture (combine in a large bowl):
3 pounds ground beef (1 lb can be ground chicken)
3 eggs, beaten
¾ tsp. onion powder
¾ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. kosher salt
minced clove garlic
squoosh ketchup (2 Tbl.?)
drop sriracha sauce
1/3 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs

The sauce (heat together in a large pot):
28 ounces canned tomato sauce
½ cup (4 oz.) grape jam
4 Tbl. dark brown sugar
1 Tbl. Lemon juice
sriracha sauce (1/2 tsp., or more, to taste)

Combine the sauce ingredients in a large pot. Heat the sauce while you make the meatball mixture.
Combine the ingredients for the meatballs (ground beef, spices, eggs, matzoh meal). Roll small balls, using 1-2 Tbl. of meatball mixture. Drop the balls as you make them into the sauce in the pot, which should be bubbling hot now. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours.

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6 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Meatballs”

  1. Mrs. S. Says:

    “gateway” recipe
    Great description!🙂 I like to serve sweet and sour meatballs on Simchat Torah. I find that even if the hakafot run long, the meatballs don’t dry out.

  2. Prag Says:

    Sounds great, (and I am in denial) but I cant’ be inspired without a picture!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Sigh, sorry! I froze them and then realized that I didn’t take a picture. Would a picture of frozen sweet and sour meatballs inspire you? I’ll post that if it helps . . . Otherwise, a picture will have to wait.

      ________________________________

  3. Leora Says:

    Ah, my son would like these! Maybe by January (when he finally has time to breathe again, as he just started college) he might be willing to try making new sweet and sour meatballs. I told my family I only make spicy meatballs, not the the sweet kind. Sorry, guys.

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