True story: Mr. Hausfrau and I were at a recent housewarming party. He was hovering over the chopped liver at the buffet, stuffing it into his piehole faster than he could chew it. I started to
nag beg him to lay off the chopped liver because, let’s face it, I didn’t need my nostril hairs burnt out later that night. (If you don’t get my drift, you’ve never had chopped liver and a finer person you are for it.)
Anyway, my pleading was cut short by a tray of meatballs that appeared on the table, just beyond his left elbow. So I approached him, all seductively slinky and lithe. And hungry.
Me: Would you mind if I could get a taste of those meatballs?
Mr. HausFrau: Balls? You mean the chopped liver? You gotta taste this – it’s the best I’ve ever had.
He then proceeds to shove a cracker full of the disgusting stuff under my nose.
Me: Ugh, not that crap! The balls! The meatballs next to you!
Mr Hausfrau: My balls? Sure you can taste my balls.
Needless to say, I
made a mental note to take another Prozac shoved him out of the way, and he saw what I was bee-lining for. Those adorable little meatballs, all precocious and glazed in a chunky tomato sauce. I tasted one – they were just a little sweet and just a little tangy, nothing at all like the hackneyed combination of grape jelly and cocktail sauce you usually see. I wanted to cuddle these little meatballs and tell them a witty bedtime story. I ate them instead.
I hunted down the gal who brought those little meatballs and
demanded pleaded asked for the recipe. She was one of those “I never measure” types, but one thing she was pretty insistent about was the use of sour salt. After several trips to several grocery stores, I am pretty insistent on the fact that A) such a product doesn’t exist, and B) she smokes crack.
But my own stab at them ain’t too shabby, if I do say so myself. I opted for a prepared tomato sauce doctored up with lemon juice, malt vinegar, and honey. The whole dish comes together easily and fast enough that you can bring them to a potluck or you can hoard them all to yourself and enjoy them while watching the football game.
Better yet, screw the game. Go shoe shopping instead and work up an appetite.
Tangy and Sweet Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons malt vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For the meatballs:
In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and egg until no streaks of egg remain.
Shape the meat mixture into golf-ball sized balls and place them 1 inch apart on a greased or foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.
For the sauce:
In a large dutch oven, combine the tomato sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste and honey over medium heat. Bring the mixture just short of a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the meatballs have finished baking in the oven, carefully place them into the sauce and simmer the meatballs an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.