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Monday, March 25, 2013

Passover Sweet and Sour Meatballs

 It is no secret Passover is traditionally NOT a good time to begin a health-food diet.  I usually post baked goods, but today I'm posting a Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe that is about as good as dessert.  To me, anyway!   Since the recipe uses brown sugar and apricot preserves, it qualifies as dessert-like.   I know everyone who celebrates Passover has probably made theirs already and you probably have an old standby that your relatives made, but these are easy, delicious, and worth a try. No one could find my grandmother's recipe.  I knew she used a citrus soda pop and brown sugar, but I didn't remember any of the other details.   It took me years of trying out less successful recipes (my family can confirm) to finally get everyone's favorite.   The secret is lots of eggs and onions.   I also cook the meatballs in the sauce.  I used to bake the meatballs and then add them to the sauce later because it was easier to skim off the hamburger fat. I don't eat these meatballs often and they taste much better cooked in the sauce  so it is a guilty pleasure I'm not going to mess with.

Here is the recipe...

Approximate assembly time 30 minutes
Approximate cooking time:  60 minutes

For the utensils you will need:
  • 8 quart Stock pot
  • large mixing bowl
  • cookie sheet

For the meatball mixture you will need:
  • 3 pounds of lean ground beef-I use about 85% lean.  This time I used ground beef, but I have also used a mixture of 2 pounds ground beef and 1 pound ground turkey.
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
  • 1 medium finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
For the sauce you will need:
  • 12 ounce jar of apricot preserves (or any other fruit preserve)
  • 2 small cans (6 oz each) of tomato paste
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) of tomato soup +1 can of water
  • 26 ounce can of Hunt's plain spaghetti sauce (or any other brand you like)
  • 1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2 medium finely chopped onions
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Make sauce first. Put all of the sauce ingredients into an 8 quart pan.  Heat  and stir sauce on medium until it begins to boil.   Stir occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn.  While the sauce is heating up, make the meatballs.
You will need a large bowl.  Add six eggs and beat with a fork or eggbeater just until they are blended. Add the chopped onions, ketchup, salt, matzoh meal, and stir until well combined. Add the hamburger and mix until combined well. I use rubber gloves for this part.   
Roll meatballs so they are about an inch and a half in diameter.  Set the meatballs on a cookie sheet as you roll them.   When you are finished rolling meatballs, drop them one by one into the boiling sauce.   REDUCE TEMPERATURE TO MEDIUM LOW.  
Cook for 30 minutes gently stirring a couple of times from the bottom up. At the end of the first 30 minutes stir so that meatballs on the bottom are redistributed to the top. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Notes:  The meatballs will not all be covered by sauce at first.  I sometimes spoon a little sauce from the side up and over the top meatballs trying hard not to break any of them. As the sauce and meatballs cook down,  they will sink.
If you decide to bake the meatballs and then add them to the sauce-or just eat them plain, reduce the salt in them by 1/2 teaspoon.   

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