Cocktail Meatballs

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Servings: About 25 mini-meatballs

Baked, not fried, these mini-meatballs are a healthier (and much improved) take on a classic, and super easy to make. Not having a party? Double the recipe, serve over rice and call it dinner. The sweet tangy sauce is good enough to drink, but we suggest sticking with a dry white like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.


RECIPE & PHOTO COURTESY OF: 

Once Upon a Chef

Once Upon a Chef

Cocktail Meatballs
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 3/4 cup cubed white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 pound ground beef (85% lean)

    For The Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated shallot, from one shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    For Serving
  • Finely chopped parsley, if desired
Directions

Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up and place an ovenproof baking/cooling rack over top; spray rack generously with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the egg and cream together in a medium bowl. Stir in the bread and mash until no large bread chunks remain. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the pork, garlic, allspice, pepper, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. Add the bread mixture to the mixing bowl and beat on high speed until smooth and homogeneous, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping the bowl as necessary.

Using moistened hands (it's sticky and wet hands help; keep wetting them as you go), form the meat mixture into tablespoon-size round meatballs and place on the prepared rack. Bake for about 20 minutes, until just done.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Transfer the meatballs to a serving platter, spear with toothpicks and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with parsley if desired. Serve warm.

And most importantly, don't forget the wine!  Check out some of our suggested pairings below.