Last week I was making pizza and thinly slicing peperoncini peppers with Addie on my hip, per usual. She started pointing at the peppers and grunting, a sure tell sign that she wants to try it. I told her they were spicy and she might not like them but the pointing and grunting continued. So, I let her try one while I waited for her little face to scrunch up. But, it didn't. More pointing and grunting, she wanted more! I seriously couldn't believe it! Baby has a mouth and stomach of steel.
I bet you are wondering what that has to do with meatballs. Not much really, just that Addie loves meatballs and made a similar grunting noise when she was eating them. I'm always on the lookout for new meatball recipes since she likes them so much. I think it has to do with the fact that there isn't a ton of chewing involved, I mean she has 7 teeth, and that meatballs are so flavorful! These are no exception, tender and smothered in a sweet and sour BBQ like sauce. I think your whole family will love them!
I loved the ease of this recipe since there was no babysitting the meatballs while frying them in a pan. Just form the meatballs and pop them in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top and bake! After 30 mins I took them out and basted them a bit with the sauce, popped them back in the oven for another 5 minutes and that's it!
I ended up making a double batch and freezing half for a quick meal later when I don't have time, or two arms to make them! :)
I hope you try these and love them as much as we do! Also, send me your best meatball recipes, Addie would be forever grateful!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 85%--You don't want to go too lean with these or they will be dry)
3/4 quick cooking or rolled oats, lightly pulsed in the food processor
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 finely minced onion
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used just over 1 of a cup) depending on how sweet you like your sauce
1 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 cup BBQ sauce
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray your baking dish with cooking spray.
Add the ground beef to a large mixing bowl.
Pour the oats into the food processor and pulse until it looks like chunky flour. Pour over the meatballs. Cut the onion in to large chunks and place into the food processor. Pulse until they are very finely minced, this is important as if they are too large your meatballs will fall a part. Pour the onions into the mixing bowl. Crack the eggs into the food processor, pulse just until beaten. Pour into the mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper and worchestershire sauce to the bowl as well. Using your hands, mix just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you over mix, you will have tough meatballs! Form into 1-1 1/2 inch sized meatballs. I use a small cookie scoop and it works great. Place in the prepared baking dish.
Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium sized bowl and whisk together. Pour over the meatballs and place the baking dish in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and baste with the sauce. Place back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve with hot rice, garlic mashed potatoes and the glorious sauce!
**NOTES: This recipe is super easy to double and freeze half of. If you do this, make the recipe in a disposable baking pan (aka aluminum foil pan) up until the baking. Don't bake the meatballs, just cover with Press and Seal, aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place the meatballs and sauce (without defrosting) in the oven for an hour, covered with tin foil. Uncover and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes. Take out baste with sauce and back in the oven for 5 minutes and until the meatballs are cooked through**