Wednesday, January 8
I wish you all could have known Gram Maynard. She was one of those truly good people that you only come across a few times in your life and I am grateful every day that I had the chance to know her. Gram didn’t cook very much, but, despite that fact, some of my favorite recipes and kitchen tips came from her. Today I’m going to share one of those recipes because we had it on New Year’s Eve and, along with inspiring fond memories, it is simple and delicious and needs to be shared!
This is one of those recipes that almost isn’t a recipe because it is THAT EASY. These meatballs are perfect for parties and for watching football games. Or, in Gram’s case, Red Sox games!Gram's Super Easy Sweet and Sour MeatballsFrom Barbara “Gram” MaynardAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, BeefIngredients
- 1 package frozen cooked meatballs (between 20-30 ounces)
- 1 12-ounce jar Heinz chili sauce
- 12 ounces grape jelly (yeah, I know, it maybe sounds weird, but it tastes amazing!)
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- In a large sauce pan, mix together the chili sauce and grape jelly. Place over medium-high heat and add meatballs. Bring to an almost boil (will be spluttering, so you will need to stir regularly), then reduce heat to a simmer (medium or medium-low) and cook until meatballs are hot.
- Gram never did this, but if you’d like a bit more heat to the meatballs, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper in at the end to taste.
- See Comment #3 below for crockpot directions!
Tuesday, March 29
Our girls love spaghetti and meatballs. In fact, if there is ground beef in a dish and we tell them it’s meatballs, they’ll eat it. So, instead of doing a meat sauce for our spaghetti last night, I decided to spend a few extra minutes and make some actual meatballs for my cuties. And they were delighted. They barely ate the spaghetti, which normally disappears within minutes!
When Nate came home and started eating, I of course immediately pestered him with, “How are the meatballs?” He told me, “They’re really good! What kind of meat did you use?” I told him just ground beef and he was shocked! Nate was certain I must have used more than one kind of meat because the flavor was so good. Meatball success!
So, here’s what I did. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s tasty.On Top of SpaghettiAuthor: Jane MaynardIngredients
- 1 lb ground beef (I used 85/15 this time around)
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried diced onions
- 1 fresh garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4-5 cups prepared tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
- 1 package spaghetti
- Mix all ingredients (except tomato sauce and spaghetti) together by hand. Form into 1″ – 1-1/2″ balls (I think mine were closer to 1-1/2″ and I ended up with 38 meatballs).
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Brown meatballs in oil, constantly rotating, until all sides are browned. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (make sure heat is high enough so sauce is simmering). While meatballs are simmering, prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Serve sauce and meatballs over spaghetti. And be sure not to sneeze…those meatballs have been known to roll off the table and onto the floor.
Thursday, January 7
Another Swedish food that my grandmother ALWAYS made was Swedish meatballs. Just like bulle, the smell alone takes me back in time. The last two years I’ve made meatballs 2 days before Christmas, ready to pop in the oven on Christmas Day. Making the meatballs is a little labor intensive, but doing them ahead makes for a super easy and delicious Christmas dinner.
Christmas or not, these are some good meatballs. They are best served with boiled red potatoes and lingonberry jam.Swedish MeatballsAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, BeefIngredients
- FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¼ pound ground veal
- ¼ pound ground pork
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 onion (medium) (I do only about ⅓ of an onion)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 3 beaten eggs
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- Fat left in skillet
- ¼ teaspoon garlic
- 5 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon beef concentrate (or bouillon cube)
- 2 cups bouillon or beef stock
- Optional: 1 teaspoon aromatic bitters (I’ve never used these)
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup sour cream
NotesThis recipe improves if made one day ahead.3.2.2429
- Have meat ground together twice or mix really well. Soak bread crumbs in milk. Add meat – mix well. Mix in pepper, nutmeg, paprika, and beaten eggs.
- In a large frying pan, saute onions in 2 T butter until soft. Add salt and dry mustard and stir. Add onion mixture to meat mixture and mix well. Form 48 small balls. Brown meatballs in ¼ C butter. Remove balls – set aside in a 9×13 baking pan.
- Add garlic and 1 T butter to fat left in skillet. Blend in 4 more Tbsp. butter, tomato paste, beef concentrate, and beef stock. Stir mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly. Stir in 1 cup sour cream and a few more tablespoons of butter (yes, more butter!). Pour sauce over meatballs. Heat in moderate oven (I think baked them at 350 degrees) until hot.