Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Every once in a while I get caught in a cooking rut, cooking the same thing over and over.  At this point I find one our tried-and-true favorites that I know will satisfy my rancher.  I hit this point this weekend and pulled out an old favorite- Sweet and Sour Meatballs!

Funny thing about meatballs at our house… When we were first married, The Rancher just told me not to bother making them- “I don’t like them,” he said.  Then we visited my parents in Montana and had some meatballs and he loved them!  Guess what honey, that’s how I make them…  Now I have all green lights with the meatballs!

What I love about a meatball is that you can make it so many ways, add whatever you like, take out whatever you don’t and every time it’s delicious!  They are fast to make and really don’t require a big clean up… I make dinners depending on what I am willing to clean up some days…

But the meatballs…

I thought I would try something a little new and threw in some bacon and cheese to give it new flavor.  It’s like a bacon cheeseburger rolled into a meatball!  I have to admit, they turned out AWESOME!  Definitely worth sharing!

So grab all the meatball ingredients: ground beef, onion, bacon, cheese, egg, toast bits, Worcestershire, salt, salt, pepper, milk, and red pepper flakes.  We only mix up once, so you just as well have it all pulled out! 
Start with the bacon, toast, and onion.  I go for a chunkier meatball, so I don’t worry about getting it all so finely chopped up.  But you do what you want!  I just toast a few slices of bread and chop them up rather than buying breadcrumbs.  It’s my way of making good use of the ends that nobody wants to eat!
Once these are diced, you’re ready to throw it all in together.  Yep all of it!

And stir, stir, stir!  If you’re brave you can even mix with your hands.  Unless you’re not into the meat squishing through your fingers…

I added my cheese a little at a time so it didn’t end up in one big pile that didn’t get mixed around.  We are going for a little cheese in each meatball!
When everything has been evenly mixed, its time to roll them into meatballs.  I go for a golf ball size, but they all vary.  I have big cowboys and little cowboys, so it all works out!  Place them in a 9x13 baking dish, spacing about 1” apart. 

Now with the meatballs ready, it’s time to make a little sauce!  Grab all your ingredients again, pour tem in and mix!  I added a little pineapple juice to liven up the “sweet” part of the sweet and sour.  Yummy!

After it’s all mixed up, pour over those meatballs! 

I sprinkled a little parsley on top for just a bit of extra flavor.

Cover it up and throw those babies in the oven!

Let ‘em cook for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.  You know their ready when the house is smelled with a tantalizing aroma that you can’t hardly stand! 

Oh… and when they aren’t pink in the middle (that’s probably a better rule to follow!)

Next step- EAT!  And share… We had friends over to dinner and was perfect to fill those boys up!

If you’re ready for a new dinner to spice up your menu, you’ll want to try these Sweet and Sour Meatballs!  I promise, they won’t disappoint!

Sweet and Sour Meatball Recipe
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb bacon
1/4 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup toast, chopped into small pieces
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tap salt
1 egg
1 dash red pepper flakes
Sweet and Sour Sauce
¾ cup water
½ cup vinegar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce

Prepare bacon, cheese, toast, and onion.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine ground beef, bacon, cheese, toast crumbs, Worcestershire, onion, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and egg using hands (or a wooden spoon) until well mixed.
Shape into 20 meatballs and place 1” apart in a 9x13 baking dish. 
Mix sauce ingredients together and stir until combined.  Pour over the meatballs.
Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink. 


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