A Family Favourite
Sweet and Sour Meatballs. I don’t know how many versions I’ve eaten with my family or how many times they’ve graced our table. During my childhood I’m sure they were on a weekly rotation. In fact the distinct memory that popped into my head was of my poor dad eating yet another meal of sweet and sour meatballs. He would politely grin and bear it, but he was really sick of them after my sister became obsessed with them. After I entered high school she began to learn to cook meals for the family; sweet and sour meatballs being the obvious favourite. He never said anything back then but if you mention sweet and sour meatballs now he gets a little bit of a shivery panic attack.
The Original Recipe vs The New Recipe
Our original family favourite meatballs were made of our own beef, ground into mince in my Grandpa’s basement. The sauce was a basic sweet and sour with added ketchup. No extra onions or peppers and most of the time no pineapple. I started out making this plain version for my young family but eventually I improved the recipe to our liking. My current version is made from chicken or turkey and includes shredded onions and carrots in the meatballs. The sauce usually has pineapple chunks and a good amount of ginger and chili flakes because we like it a little spicy.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs 3.0
I was a little apprehensive about trying this recipe, originally blogged by Amanda of What’s Cooking – Fine Dining My Way. I didn’t think it could be much better than the Sweet and Sour Meatballs I already made but she had piqued my interest and really sold the dish to me! When I got to the grocery store and found pineapples and minced chicken on sale, the dinner dilemma was solved!
Last Minute Substitutions
Here’s a lesson in reading the recipe all the way through before beginning. A brief glance told me that it contained a pineapple and what I thought was chicken mince (turns out it was turkey). I didn’t have any tomato paste in the pantry so one substitution I made was to use a half pint of my homemade tomato passata. My tomato passata is precious and I don’t just use it in any recipe because it is like gold in my kitchen. The recipe must be passata worthy and this one was. Another substitution was plain old breadcrumbs. I just don’t have matzo meal kicking around in my pantry. Oh, and I omitted the coriander seeds but then wished I hadn’t.
Pin it HERE.
More Meatballs from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
If you make these Sweet and Sour Meatballs, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 cups tomato passata
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 lb minced chicken
- 1/2 onion; very finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves; minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 4 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- pinch flaked chilies
- 1 pineapple; skin off, cored, and cut into chunks
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (to serve)
- In a large pot or dutch oven (preferably with a wide base) place the tomato passata, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and first amount of salt. Heat on low while you make the meatballs.
- To a large bowl add the chicken mince, finely diced onion, minced garlic, second amount of salt, egg, bread crumbs, paprika, and pepper.
- Mix well with a spoon and shape into 1 inch meatballs. Drop each into the waiting warmed sauce.
- When you’ve made all the meatballs, cover and simmer on low heat for 40 minutes.
- Add pineapple and simmer for about five more minutes so the pineapple softens a bit.
- Serve over rice and top with cilantro leaves.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 153mgSodium: 687mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 31g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.