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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

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Does anyone have a really "retro" recipe; one that uses jar bar-be-que sauce and melted grape jelly?

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  1. My recipe (handed down by Mom) uses grape jelly and bottled chili sauce. I use Heinz, but you could use whatever kind you like. It's expected at every family & friends get-together we have.

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    2 lb. ground beef
    1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
    1 egg
    breadcrumbs
    1 jar grape jelly
    1 jar Heinz chili sauce

    1. Combine chili sauce and grape jelly in large saucepan and blend over medium heat.
    2. Combine ground beef, onion soup mix, egg and breadcrumbs. Roll into bite-size meatballs.
    3. When chili sauce/jelly combo is well blended and simmering, carefully drop in meatballs and allow to cook for 20 minutes to half an hour, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to allow even cooking.
    4. If you separate the meatballs from the sauce and refrigerate both for a few hours, you will be able to lift the fat off the surface of the sauce after it rises and congeals. Then reheat the meatballs and sauce together and serve in chafing dish with toothpicks or small cocktail forks.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Deenso

      Years ago, when I was a demo lady at Sams Club, we always did the sweet & sour meatballs. When I prepare this now, I use frozen Trader Joe's meatballs (when I want really simple) a bottle of each--grape jelly and barbecue sauce.
      I heat in a small crock pot but you can use whatever you have. I'm always amazed at how easy this is and how many people just love it. You can also use small smoky links for this sauce mixture. Hope this is what you wanted.

      1. re: jackie

        I had these once and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Any particular kind of barbeque sauce? Should I stick with basic supermarket brands?

        1. re: Ellen

          I use Sweet Baby Ray's sauce, but anything your family loves works great! I don't think it matters too much, since the grape jelly just kind of mellows it out.

      2. re: Deenso
        t
        TrishUntrapped

        This is our retro sweet and sour meatball recipe also.

        For parties, I put them in a crockpot so they stay hot.

        1. re: Deenso

          It has chili sauce, is it very spicy?

          1. re: Keri T.

            Chili sauce is not spicy. It is like catsup with red bell peppers cooked into the mix.

            1. re: Candy

              Ok thanks, sadly I didn't know that.

        2. hmm...somehow my family got confused about the grape jelly - i use my moms recipe which is - a small jar of tomato sauce, a small can of plain tomato sauce, and a can of cranberry sauce.

          this works great even with packaged vegetarian meatballs (even though mom uses the real thing)

          1. Out of curiousity, what do these taste like? Can you compare them to anything? I'm sort of horrified by the ingredients (mainly because I despise grape jelly) but am willing to have an open mind about it.

            1. Another retro meat ball that people would devour like crazy and look for bread to get any last bits of sauce was a sausage meatball. Take 1 qt. catsup, 1 qt. beer and 2 lbs. bulk breakfast sausage. Get the catsup and beer boiling. Form the sausage into small balls and drop into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thickened. Seve hot in a chafing dish or crock pot. This also works with Little Smokies.