Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cranberry Meatballs

Earlier this year, my mother-in-law gave me a Christmas cook book from Gooseberry Patch that she found at a garage sale. I've liked Gooseberry Patch stuff since I was a little kid and my mom received the catalogs. It's so darned charming! I have a couple of their cook books and each one has a lot of yummy looking things in it.

The other night I decided to cook meat for the first time since I made Cincinnati Chili and whipped up Cranberry Meatballs (aka Tangy Barbecued Meatballs) from the Gooseberry Patch book. In the past I've made similar meatballs with jelly (grape on one occasion, currant on the other) and they were good but they're amazing with cranberry sauce! The meatballs themselves were great, too. Meatballs are one of those things I'm particular about and while I've tried many recipes, not a single one held a candle to the meatballs my mom makes (I will post that recipe sometime soon!). Her meatballs are so tender and have a ton of grated parmesan. These ones are cheeseless but also very, very good and perfect for a sauce that doesn't really go with parmesan. Next time I'm going to try them with ground turkey because I prefer ground turkey and turkey and cranberry kinda sorta go together :)

Update:  I've made these with extra lean ground turkey and they are awesome, too.  Next time I will probably experiment with whole berry cranberry sauce because I can.

Without further ado,

Cranberry Meatballs

1 C crumbs (bread, cornflake, cracker, whatevs)
2 T dried minced onion or 1 t onion powder
2 t dried parsley
1 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t black pepper
2 T soy sauce
6 T ketchup
2 eggs
2 lbs lean ground beef

16 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
12 oz bottle chili sauce (the kind next to the ketchup, not the spicy Asian kind)
2 T brown sugar
1 T lemon juice

For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9 by 13 baking dish. In a bowl (or gallon plastic bag if you're me!), combine the dry ingredients for the meatballs, then add the soy sauce and eggs until well mixed. Add the ground beef and gently stir/squish until thoroughly combined. Form into meatballs and place in the prepared dish.

To make the sauce, add all ingredients to a medium pan. Mash with a potato masher to break up the cranberry sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cranberry sauce has melted. Pour over the meatballs. Bake, uncovered, until meatballs have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees, which will take about 40 minutes. Enjoy over egg noodles or rice.

Yield: 8 servings, about 3 meatballs per person

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