Sweet and Sour Meatballs

We continue onto Week 12 of College Football, which means another delicious Football bite! I can’t believe that we are almost to the end of College Football season! If you are planning on throwing a party before the end of the season make sure these meatballs make an appearance. These meatballs are a football tailgate staple and incredibly delicious.

One of the best parts of this recipe is that you can make the meatballs and sauce ahead of time and freeze them for up to a month! That is always a bonus when it comes to getting ready for a party! Place cooked meatballs and sauce in two separate zip-top plastic freezer bags and freeze. When it’s time to serve, simply reheat the sauce, dump in the frozen meatballs, and you’re done. Score big with these fan-pleasing sweet and sour meatballs! :D

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Yield: 80 Meatballs

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:
4 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef

For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 450 degrees F.
In large bowl mash bread, milk, and egg yolks with a fork until smooth. Add pork, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. Add beef and mix until combined.
Using a tablespoon, roll meat mixture into 1¼-inch meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake meatballs on 2 rimmed baking sheets until cooked through and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through cooking.
While the meatballs are baking, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato sauce, preserves, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, and pepper flakes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer until 5-10 minutes.

To Make Ahead:
After the meatballs have finished baking, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large zipper-lock freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month.
Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
To Serve: Reheat sauce, covered and stirring occasionally, in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once sauce reaches simmer, stir in frozen meatballs and cook until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve.

Source: adapted from Inspired 2 Cook, originally from Cook's Country, December/January 2010

If you’ve missed them, make sure to check out the rest of my College Football Bites: :)

Week One: Pizza Pretzel Bites               

Week Two: Slow Roasted Pulled Pork 

Week Three: Mini Corn Dogs                 

Week Four: Buffalo Chicken Bites         

Week Five: Texas Chili                            

Week Six: Beer Battered Fried Pickles 

Week Seven: Buffalo Wings                    

Week Eight: Queso Blanco Dip              

Week Nine: Sloppy Joes                          

Week Ten: Ultimate Spicy Beef Nachos 

Week Eleven: Spinach & Artichoke Dip 

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One Year Ago: Toffee Mocha Cupcakes