Sweet & Sour Meatballs
These meatballs are proof that food can create a legacy. I’ll share more of that story in a bit but for now, suffice it to say, this recipe came from a dear friend and it changed my attitude about meatballs.
I really only remember two kinds of meatballs growing up: porcupine and ham balls. If you aren’t from “around here”, porcupine meatballs are made with ground beef, rice, a tomato sauce, onion and a few light seasonings. Ham balls are as Lutheran as green jello. They are made with a combination of ground pork and ground ham and have a tangy, barbecue-esque sauce. Both are delicious but I am a lover of variety. Enter Jenna, to the rescue.
a legacy begins with meatballs
This gal walks into a … you guessed it … church potluck with a pan full of these beauties. My boys, who were pretty young at the time, devoured them (still do). This recipe gave me the nudge to take a basic recipe and create all kinds of variations (see “MEATBALLS: TIPS AND RECIPES” below for more ideas).
Never, ever, be afraid to ask someone for their recipe. It is a compliment. It’s a BIG compliment when, 20 years later, you tell that person it is still a family favorite! And it’s a true gift when that compliment results in a friendship that endures and thrives.
Thanks, Jenna, for this recipe which has fed our family many meals over the years. Thank you even more for all the time, energy and passion you directed (and still direct) into children’s ministry. I have two adult men who cannot go through Lent without hearing the song, “Run Peter Run” in their heads. Now that’s a legacy!
tips and recipes
If you go to The Meatball Files on my site, you will find Meatballs 101 (a post filled with tips and tricks on everything from breadcrumbs to cooking methods) and a variety of recipes to try. It’s actually quite addictive. You will be making your own recipes before you know it!
Make sure you share them with me.
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 divided
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup vinegar apple cider vinegar or white
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Mix ground meats, bread crumbs, eggs, and 1/2 cup of the milk (by hand is easiest) until well combined. If the mixture is too dry, add the remaining milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Form into 1 1/2" meatballs (see note below).
- Place in three 9"x 13" metal pans or two large, rimmed, baking sheets (12"x16"x1") that have been coated with cooking spray. Do not overcrowd.
- Combine all sauce ingredients.
- Pour half of sauce over meatballs.
- Bake meatballs, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Turn meatballs. Pour remaining sauce over the top. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until centers of meatballs are thoroughly cooked.
- Remove from oven and serve.
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