When I was in the midst of my crock pot cooking frenzy of eight weeks, I came across a crock pot recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs that the kids wanted me to try.
I never got the chance to try them out, the recipe was still on my list of things to make in the future, but I did not like that the “sweet and sour” part of the recipe was a jar of sweet and sour sauce. I like to make things on my own when I can, so that I know exactly what I’m putting into the recipe and I can modify if I need to.
In the meantime, I follow Six Sisters’ Stuff on Facebook, and this week I clicked on a link of theirs that came through for ground beef recipes, and somehow I kept clicking until I ended up at a recipe from one of the sisters, Mel, on her site, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for sweet and sour meatballs with a homemade sauce. The Six Sisters often have some good stuff on their sites!
I decided to try it out this week, and I’m glad I did! All but my little non-meat-eater, Alex, liked this recipe. LOVED this recipe. Even Alex ate one meatball. She just didn’t like it. I got so many compliments on it other than from her though, that it was well worth it!
We also decided that this would be great for a party. We often do traditional meatballs in sauce, but this would be a nice change. When I made them this time, I used my larger of the two Pampered Chef scoops, the same one I use to scoop my muffin batter into my tins. If I did this recipe for a party, I’d use the smaller of the two scoops, which is the same one I use for cookie batter.
I did, in fact, modify this recipe just a bit:
* It called for 1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef but I used 2 lbs of ground turkey instead.
* It said it wasn’t a particularly saucy recipe and that you could double the sauce. Since I prefer saucier than not and since I was using more meat than it called for, I did opt to double it.
*The directions called for making the meatballs and baking them right in the sauce for 30 minutes. I wasn’t all that comfortable with putting the raw meat into the sauce, so I baked them for 15 minutes first, added in the sauce and then baked them the rest of the time in the sauce.
*I left about 12 out of sauce for those who wanted plain. I’m glad I did. We all tried both and we all liked both.
I made sure to bake these in a deeper casserole dish rather than on a baking sheet, so that there’d be plenty of space for the sauce.
Below is Mel’s recipe, just as she has it here on her site. I encourage you to try it out and take a look at some of the other recipes on her site as well!
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (you don’t want the beef to be too high in fat because the fat will all pool at the bottom of the baking dish after baking – big time grody-ness in my book)
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- For the meatballs: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form into about 12 balls, eacha bout 2 inches in diameter. Place in a casserole dish. Cover with sauce (below). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve over rice.
- For the sauce: Combine ingredients and blend thoroughly. Heat in a small saucepan until combined and sugar is dissolved and pour over meatballs. (This dish is not overly abundant on sauce so if you enjoy things a bit saucier, double the sauce ingredients.)
Freezable Meal: After covering the meatballs with sauce, cover the pan with two layers of aluminum foil and freeze. To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake covered without thawing for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more, until meatballs are cooked through.