Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatballs in Grape/Chili Sauce

You ever go to a party where nearly everyone brings the same dish? Or at least it was a variation of the same dish.     Well, I did  that yesterday.   I was going to be busy all day so I thought I would make something simple and easy to bring with us.    And it had been a long, long time since I'd had Meatballs in Grape Jelly/Chili Sauce, and even longer since I'd seen them brought to a potluck or covered dish affair.   So the light bulb went off in my brain, and TA DA!, I decided to make some.   

You probably know the recipe by heart, a jar of chili sauce and a jar of grape jelly, mix them together and pour over meatballs, let them cook for a couple of hours in the crockpot or in the oven and serve.   They're good, right?   I think they are, in fact I have trouble stopping eating them.    sigh.   I also like those little Smoky sausages in sauce, and couldn't make up my mind which one to make so I combined them.   Some days I just have trouble making a decision.    I'd sampled a couple or three of the meatballs and sausages before leaving the house with them, and I thought they were so good.  Couldn't wait to get to the party and share my dish. 

Got to the party and go to put down my dish and what do I see?   Three other versions of the dish I brought.   I started to laugh, it tickled my funny bone.   And as I said to the hostess, great minds think alike.   She'd prepared some meatballs in BBQ sauce, another guest had made some in Sweet and Sour sauce (she even had some pineapple she'd grown herself in there), and a third guest had meatballs in a Cranberry/Chili sauce.     So we had our choice of meatballs in sauce.   I sampled all of them, in the interests of learning more about food.   There were some other offerings of course, but I thought the meatballs were the star of the day, giggle.   Next time I make this dish, I'm definitely going with some Cranberry/Chili sauce.   In fact yesterday I'd toyed with taking some of my Boozy Cranberry Sauce out of the freezer and adding it to my sauce, but had desisted at the last minute. 
If you're interested in the how-to's, here it is.

Place a package or two of meatballs in an oven proof dish, add some of those little smoky sausages, and set aside.   If you make your own meatballs, more power to you.   I ended up in a major time crunch yesterday, so was very happy to have some of the frozen commercial meatballs in the freezer, that I could use.   And personally, I like them.  They make great meatball subs as well.  Sorry, this post is about the other way I use meatballs.    So to continue...

Heat some Grape Jelly (I used a 32 oz. jar) and some Chile Sauce (I used two 12 oz bottles) together and whisk the jelly into the chile sauce as the jelly melts.   Side note here.   If you can find HFCS free anything, use it.   I couldn't find it in my little town, so I used good old Welch's grape jelly.  
Grape Jelly and Chile Sauce

Pour baby, pour...

Pour over the meatballs and sausages and cover.   Place in a 350 deg. oven for about an hour.   Then uncover and cook an additional hour or so, or until the sauce has reduced a little and the meatballs are starting to like the sauce that has caramelized a little on them.  (as I said I was in a time crunch yesterday so I put them into a 400 deg. oven for about 30 minutes, then took some of the sauce out and put the meatballs back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so and it did hurry up the cooking process).    Serve with a slotted spoon or dip them out onto a serving platter and stick a bunch of toothpicks in them to serve.  
Slightly out of focus shot of the caramelized meatballs. 
Now please pardon, but there were a few meatballs left from yesterday and they're calling me...  
Sidsel Munkholm - Author
Sidsel Munkholm - Author

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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