The Meatball Files: Sweet & Sour

img_3562-1I think there is going to be a meatball renaissance. Call it a hunch. In fact, we’re going to launch the campaign now. Let’s #MakeMeatballsGreatAgain.

A lot of people hear the word “meatball” and instantly feel like yawning. Not me. My first thought is “What kind of meatballs?” I have seen how hamburgers have become the latest craze for creativity. What is a meatball but a ground up burger, bun and all? Why shouldn’t it be as trendy as its cousin?

Yesterday, I posted “A Reintroduction to Meatballs“, a basic meatball recipe which can be easily adapted for personal preferences. Changing the types of meat, the seasonings and/or the sauce will produce a completely different flavor profile. Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, Hungarian … mild, spicy, sweet and sour …

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 pound ground ham
2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325°.  Mix above ingredients (by hand is easiest) until well combined.  Form into meatballs. Place in two 9″x 13″ metal pans that have been coated with cooking spray.

FOOD TIP: A cookie scoop is a perfect tool to mold meatballs to a consistent size.

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Combine all sauce ingredients.  Pour over meatballs. Bake meatballs, uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Turn meatballs over to coat with sauce.  Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. 

Note: Some grocery stores have ham loaf instead of ground ham. This is fine to use. It probably has more ground ham than pork but that is okay. You can either buy two pounds of ham loaf and add the pound of pork sausage or you can buy a pound and a half of ham loaf, a half pound of ground pork and add the pound of pork sausage.

This particular version comes from a good friend of mine who made these for potluck dinners at our church. My boys, who were pretty young at the time, just loved them (they still do). Never ever be afraid to ask someone for their recipe. You may find yourself making that very same recipe 10, even 15 years later!

In fact, they will be asking you for the recipe before you know it.

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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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