sweet & sour meatballs.

today we are going to talk turkey meatballs.
sweet and sour meatballs to be exact.

when we opened the bakery, one of the big components was actually the deli/lunch counter and an addition i really wanted for there was take-home meals. to provide an alternative to fast food - a home cooked version. when checking out other places such as meinhardt's and whole foods {which i wanted to create the vibe of} a big part of their deal was these very things. bakery was the main part of our concept but i did feel like we need the others to lead us through our day and journey.

this recipe was very generously bestowed on me by my sister-in-law and was very well recieved. she uses the sauce for ribs and it's wonderful on those as well - i'll fill you in on that another day. we had a few staple take-home meals that were always in the deli case, all made by me of course, {whole lasagnas, beef tenderloin shepard's pie, beef stew, chicken pot pies, sausage rolls......} and these little balls of sweet & savory always sold out fast when they were featured.

but......i always felt though there was something missing, always felt a little let down. that hit at the end of the bite to finish it off - to satisfy the palette - was missing. i have started making these more regularly now at home and have decided to play with them and figure out that missing ingredient taste. the kids love them, thank goodness, so it has made my experimenting a worthy cause in their eyes.

i got it. after making batch after batch i got it.
apple cider vinegar has been in my life for a while but just in the last year or so have i brought it into the everyday fold and asked it to take this culinary adventure with me. so when the time came to add the white vinegar in this recipe i thought, "what if......". i decided not to second guess myself, take the plunge and accept the consequences.
i'm glad i took the leap.

there it was - the taste i had been searching for - trapped in one simple switch.
trust me on this....who doesn't love a great meatball?

sweet & sour meatballs
serve on a bed of rice with a steamed green vegetable.

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef {use the type you want or mix it half meat/half pork - 1 lb lean ground is my preference}
half of a medium onion - grated {i do this to hide the onion from inspecting kids eyes - you can dice if you don't have a crew of inspector clouseau's on your hands}
1 egg
2 to 3 splashes of worcester sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup of panko crumbs {eyeball your mixture}
a little salt
a little pepper
a little garlic powder - if you are feeling adventurous or feeding adults
1/4 cup of flour

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heinz 57 sauce
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of cornstarch

optional additions: 
rough chopped onion
1 to 2 green peppers - chopped big
one chilli - diced
pineapple chunks

start on your rice. get that going first so you don't have to wait when the meatballs are ready because you won't be able to wait!

make your meatball mixture: add meat, onion, egg, worcester, panko, salt, pepper and garlic powder {optional} in a bowl and smoosh {very technical term} together with your hands. place a plate next to your bowl and start rolling your balls. you should get about 24 to 27 meatballs - depending on the size you roll them. i like to do them with about a tablespoon of mix per ball. sprinkle balls with some of the flour and roll around on plate - adding more flour as you need it to completely coat the balls.

heat a medium sized fry pan on medium and add olive oil. when oil a little hot add balls and cook until done, tossing while cooking - about 10 minutes.

meanwhile make your sauce: add all the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes depending on your stove {mine is ridiculously hot}. remove from heat and set aside.

get your vegetable side going - steamed green beans, broccoli, peas....just a few ideas.

when meatballs are done, remove them from the pan and put on a plate covered in paper towel and cover with another sheet of paper towel to soak off the oil. wipe down pan and return to heat.
**if i was making this for adults here is where in would roughly chop up a large onion, 1 or 2 green peppers, maybe a chilli and toss them into the pan for a quick fry up before adding the balls back.
place the balls back into the pan and cover with your sauce. bring to a boil while constantly tossing the balls in the sauce to cover and coat them completely. **if you have willing subjects add some pineapple chunks into the mix right about now. reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes tossing occasionally as you happen to stroll by.
add a generous helping of rice to your bowl/plate, heap on your meatballs & some sauce, add your green vegetable side, take a moment and loose yourself in the aroma, then dig in.

oh and don't mind me....i'm the one in the corner licking the pan clean so i can soak up all the saucy goodness into my tastebuds.......don't want to waste a drop.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Oh my goodness! these look AMAZING!!! :)