Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Every now and then I crave sweet and sour chicken from the Chinese place in the neighborhood. They use fresh ingredients and are the BEST in town! Not just your ordinary chinese joint, I have to say. However, I am not crazy about eating out, especially when I like to have more control over what we eat.

Here's a take on Sweet and Sour that combines lean meatballs with a yummy sauce that's done in just over 30 minutes.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup orange-pineapple juice from concentrate
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the brown sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in the vinegar, juice, and soy sauce. Add the ginger and garlic powder.

Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick and bubbling. Set aside to cool.

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 jar (10 oz) sweet-and-sour sauce

Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, mix beef, onion, bread crumbs, milk, salt, pepper and egg. Shape mixture into thirty 1-inch meatballs. In ungreased 13x9-inch pan, place meatballs.

Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink in center and thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.

In 2-quart saucepan, mix meatballs and sweet-and-sour sauce. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce and meatballs are hot.

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