Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Spicy Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs

Much like my photo-less, but delicious latkes, I nearly forgot to snap a pic of these before they all were eaten up! (that's why they're so dark, it got late and I lost the sun :P)
We love making meat balls when we make manicotti or ravioli, but I have never made lil' cocktail meatballs and have always wanted to. SO, I went looking for a recipe it seemed the most common was the grape jelly method, I also found one with onion soup mix & meat for the balls that sounded interesting, but in the theme of the party and keeping it all about the holidays, I did some googling and found that cranberry sauce or preserves could be used instead of the grape jelly :) I had a particular chili paste/sauce I wanted to use and after reading a zillion recipes I pieced this one together and they were totally fabulous!!

Spicy Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs
Serves 15-30 (made about 60-70 mini-meat balls)

about 2 lb ground beef (I got a pkg that was 3.25 lb and used about 2/3)
Pinch of salt & black pepper
1/4 c minced sweet onion
2 eggs
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
1 clove minced garlic
2 cans cranberry sauce (I used the jellied, but the other (chunky) is fine too- just up the brown sugar to 3 T)
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (about the juice of one large lemon- roll before cutting in half and juicing)
2 1/2 T Packed brown sugar
1 tsp of lemon zest

Pre-heat oven to 325
Mix the meat, salt, pepper, eggs, bread crumbs, onion and garlic in a large bowl. Prep a cookie sheet by covering with foil and spraying with non-stick spray. Roll meat into small meatballs (smaller than walnut sized, about 1 T each). Lay balls on cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes per side (turn over once during cooking).
In a large bowl combine garlic chili sauce, cranberry, lemon juice & zest, & brown sugar and mix with electric hand mixer until well combined.
I was making these a night ahead of a party- so I put the browned balls (once cooled) in the crock part of the crock pot- covered with press n' seal then the lid- and put the sauce in a Pyrex and refrigerated over night. For the party- I heated them in the crock on LOW for 4 hours, stirring every once in a while. I think if you made them whole thing all at once (no refrigerating) I think 3 hours on low would do the trick!


Kayte said...

wow these look incredible! i must try this recipe.

Kevin said...

Cranberries, chili and meatballs sound really interesting.

MrsPresley said...

i love sweet and sour meatballs... sweet and spicy sounds even better!

Deborah said...

These sound delicious! I've done a cranberry sauce for the mini sausages, but meatballs sound even better!