sweet, sour and spicy

I was going to write a post about the butternut squash gnocchi or butternut squash apple soup I made but I’m not 100% in love with those recipes slash somehow I failed.  I’ve had a couple of those days in the kitchen lately.  Especially with my oven.  I can NEVER get the timing and temperature right.  I don’t know if its me or just my oven.  I think it’s  a little bit of both.

But this recipe that I tried was a SUCCESS.  I didn’t know what to make with ground beef.  I was thinking hamburgers, but we didn’t have hamburger buns plus I knew we were going to have burgers during the weekend.  Meatballs, but spaghetti and meatballs again?  No thanks.  Meatballs stuffed with shrimp?  We just had that too.  And then I remembered that my dad used to make sweet and sour meatballs with peppers for us when I was little.  I quickly googled it and came up with the crockpock recipes (you know the one with the grape flavored jelly and chilli sauce with premade meatballs), but that’s not the one I wanted.  Then I found one from about.com.  I tried to find another recipe but this one would do.  To kick it up a notch I added some red pepper flakes for some heat… so it became a sweet, sour, and spicy meatball dish.  All flavors I LOVE!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs (adapted by about.com) – modifications by me in red


1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
2 cups water
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup sliced celery
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 slices pineapple, cut into quarters (I used a pineapple snack pack)
1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (or to taste depending on how hot you would like the dish)


In large mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs with minced onion, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water. Add ground beef and egg. Shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Brown slowly in a large skillet over medium low heat. When browned and cooked through, remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. Cook celery and pepper strips in skillet for about 5 minutes. Add remaining water, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and soy sauce. Mix cornstarch with a little cold water then add to skillet; stir well and cook for about 4 minutes. Add meatballs, pineapple slices. Cook until heated through.  And serve with rice (of course)!  🙂
Something I should probably mention.  Some of you may be saying “OH GROSS it has pineapples in it?”  The pineapple actually strengthens the sweetness aspect of this dish.  You can’t taste pineapple throughout the dish (I PROMISE!).  My husband HATES pineapples and he didn’t pick it out.  He actually ate it the pineapple (I was SHOCKED.  I thought he would push it to the side of his dish!) and said it was pretty good with the sauce and veggies.    This recipe is really simple.  It took me about 30 minutes.  I’m definitely going to save this recipe for another time.

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