Monday, May 2, 2011

Beef Meatballs with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce

I was really put off by the idea of grape jelly and chili sauce mixed together. Somehow, I just wasn't convinced it was a very good idea. I've seen this recipe many times but until now, I've simply passed it by. Last week though, I was blatantly eavesdropping as one woman was giving the recipe to another and telling her how amazingly good and easy it is. I finally decided I should give it a try, and make it for my weekly meatball recipe. I am so glad I did; these two seemingly weird ingredients meld to make a delicious sauce for meatballs.

Beef Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 T. parsley, minced
1/4 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 t. each salt and Worcestershire Sauce
Mix, shape, and chill meatballs.

Brown in 2 T. vegetable oil in a hot skillet. Remove meatballs to crock-pot (or a plate if finishing this on the stove top).

Add a 12 oz. jar of chili sauce and a half pint of grape jelly to the skillet. Stir until the jelly is melted, the browned bits are stirred up, and the sauce comes to a simmer.

Add sauce to meatballs in crock pot (or add meatballs back to skillet and cook on the stove top 20-30 minutes to finish), and cook in slow cooker on high 2-4 hours.

I served these Saturday with homemade macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and sourdough bread and everyone gave them the thumbs up, "Yeah, they're really good."

The next day, Sunday was warm and heavenly, the first day of May -and in my mind the beginning of summer. My girls celebrated by lying on the shop roof and sunning themselves, and I celebrated by making a cherry-cola ham dinner. Our salad didn't come from the garden, but the truth is that the beginning of our growing season is the leanest of the fresh-from-the-garden eating season. Instead of a garden salad for lunch, I ate leftover meatballs with leftover mashed potatoes two days in a row, and I can only say that I"m so sorry I didn't make this recipe sooner.

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