Pineapple chunks, bell pepper and sliced carrots in a slightly tangy sauce, sweet and sour meatballs is a little retro recipe from the 70’s and 80’s. Easy and flavorful, it is worth revisiting for a great weeknight or family dinner.
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Everything old is new again or goes a saying something like that. It’s been ages since I made sweet and sour meatballs. The recipe card has been floating around in my remake file for too long.
Just a few more days before our grandson heads back for his final college semester. I am savoring all the moments with him and was curious to see get his opinion of the entree. So we had lunch together and I am happy to say he gave it a thumbs up. So did my husband who had a serving I reheated for his dinner.
Preparing vegetables for sweet and sour meatballs
NOTE: You might want to get the rice on just before beginning the meatballs so that they are read at the same time.
Peel and slice carrots diagonally, about 1/4-inch thick.
Trim the top off the bell peppers, remove the seeds and membrane; cut into strips. Use any color pepper you prefer. I had one lone jalapeno pepper in the crisper drawer and add that too.
Making the meatballs
Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, ginger, bread crumbs and a lightly beaten egg to large bowl.
Toss together until completely combined.
Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.
Add the meatballs to a large skillet or wok.
Cook over medium heat, turning frequently until browned.
Making the sweet and sour sauce
While the meatballs are cooking, combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, cider vinegar and soy sauce in a small bowl. (Add a little water to the pineapple liquid to measure 1 cup, if needed.)
When the meatballs are browned on all sides, pour the pineapple juice mixture over the meatballs.
Add the sliced carrots and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
Add the peppers and pineapple; return to a simmer and cook 5 minutes more.
In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch.
Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry over the meatballs, stirring continuously.
Simmer just a few minutes more. Serve over hot cooked rice.
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained, reserving liquid
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup diagonally sliced carrots
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Hot cooked rice
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, salt, ginger, pepper and egg. Toss until combined.
Shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.
In a large skillet or wok, brown the meatballs, turning frequently. Drain off any grease.
Add enough water to the reserved pineapple liquid to measure 1 cup, if needed. Add the brown sugar, cider vinegar and soy sauce and blend well.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs; stir in the carrots. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until the carrots are crisp-tender.
Stri in the peppers and pineapple; cover and simmer another 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Gradually add to the skillet, stirring constantly, until thickened about 2-3 minutes.
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