These sweet and sour meatballs are great as an appetizer or can be served on top of rice or noodles. They are very easy to make and will melt in your mouth. You will also have an explosion of flavors in your mouth when you bite into these fantastic little sweet and sour meatballs.
I like making these with soaked bread as that makes them super tender. This is how we make albondigas in South America. You will really see a difference in the consistency of the meatball if you follow this step.
The sauce for these sweet and sour meatballs is not Asian and has no soy sauce. It is more reminiscent of a barbecue sauce with out the smokiness. Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for a minimum of an hour so that the sauce thickens and reduces. This will also ensure that the flavors are nice and melded.
This is what you are going to need for these exquisite sweet and sour meatballs:
2 slices whole wheat or white bread
½ cup milk
1 pound ground beef
3 garlic cloves – minced
1 TBS. chopped parsley + more for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ dry thyme
A pinch of oregano
½ teaspoon dried chili powder – optional
½ small white onion – grated (approximately 1 TBS of grated onion)
½ cup water
1 cup Ketchup
2 TBS yellow mustard
2 TBS cider or white vinegar
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 TBS minced onion
¼ cup brown sugar
2 TBS olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Break up the bread into little pieces in a bowl and add the milk. Let the bread soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the meat, garlic cloves, parsley, thyme, oregano, chili pepper if using, grated onion, egg and salt and pepper. Mix well with clean hands – make sure you wash them well if you are using chili peppers. Make the meatballs as large as you like them. I got 36 small ones.
In a bowl mix together the water, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, garlic powder, onion, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or pot. Add the meatballs without crowding the pan and start browning them on all sides. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate and let them drain. If the meatballs are little they will cook fairly quickly.
Get rid of all the rendered fat after you are done browning the meatballs. Add a little bit of the sauce and deglaze the pan by scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sauce and return the meatballs to the pan.
Being to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer the meatballs for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 2. Stir them gently once in a while.
Serve them with some sauce as an appetizer or over rice or noodles for a satisfying and delicious meal.
6 meatballs – CALORIES 437.53; FAT 26.65 grs (sat 9.49; mono 11.72; poly 1.025); PROTEIN 15.19 grs ; FIBER 1.77 grs; CARBS 34.30 grs; CHOLESTEROL 92.46 mg; IRON 2.48 mg; SODIUM 1368.77 mg; CALCIUM 94.20 mg