‘Chinese’ Meatballs – A Great Make-Ahead Appetizer!

For the last several years I’ve hosted a “Women Only Pre-Holiday Madness Party”, usually on the first Saturday of December. We always have tons of fun!  Everyone brings whatever they want to drink – and an appetizer to share, so there’s lots of “nibbling” going on all night. And, of course, the beverages are flowing!  I invented these Chinese (or Sweet and Sour Meatballs) for one of those parties and they were a BIG hit.  Take my word for it – these are delicious!

++  Makes 25 – 1 1/2″ appetizer-size meatballs

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup dry purchased bread crumbs (“Italian” is fine.)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 lbs. (90 % lean) ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans crushed pineapple – divided
  • 2 Tbs. minced onion
  • 1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  •  2 Tbs.  cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • rest of juice & pineapple from 1st can  &  all of 2nd can
  • 2 Tbs. maraschino cherry juice
  • 10 or so maraschino cherries

FOR MEATBALLS – In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs and milk, then add ground beef, egg, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 tsp. Teriyaki sauce, 1/4 cup DRAINED crushed pineapple – (reserve rest of pineapple and juice), 2 Tbs. minced onion, 2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Form into meatballs 1 1/2 ” across. Place each meatball about 1 1/2″ apart on a baking sheet, and bake in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes.

FOR SAUCE – In a large frying pan, place the rest of the ingredients – beginning with the cup of packed brown sugar down to the 10 maraschino cherries. On medium-high heat, bring sauce to a boil, while stirring.

Once sauce boils, immediately lower heat. Add cooked meatballs and continue cooking – at a simmer – until sauce is slightly thickened and coats meatballs.

++ These can be made ahead and served the next day.  I reheat them gently in an electric frying pan and serve them right from the pan so they remain warm.  Of course, they can also be warmed up & served from your slow-cooker.  Enjoy!!

'Chinese' a.k.a. 'Sweet and Sour Meatballs' - from 'My Yellow Farmhouse.com'

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