In the last few days I’ve been going back through some of my Ultra Gel recipes looking for things I haven’t done in a while and I happened upon this sweet and sour meatballs recipe. I love this recipe. It’s a combination of Asian flavors with a bright burst of pineapple all wrapped around a meatball, with crunchy vegetables for contrast.
My mother and I first developed this recipe when I was competing in the 4-H Beef Ambassador contest (about a million years ago). We wanted a meatball which would hold together well, but have a simple flavor and texture. Ultra Gel provides this as well as keeping the meatball moist even after baking (and it freezes really well too). Then we wanted a simple sauce which wouldn’t have to be cooked twice. Again Ultra Gel solved our problem as we can create a stir together sauce at the desired thickness before baking it with the meatballs for full flavor.
You can get creative with this recipe and add other tropical fruit such as mangoes, or vegetables like baby corn or bamboo shoots. Get creative, and be sure to let us know what you try!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Ultra Gel
1 pound ground beef – a combination of ground beef and ground turkey is really good too
2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
2 Tablespoons dried chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 small can water chestnuts
4-6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
1-2 green peppers, cut into chunks
Combine ingredients for meatballs gently. DO NOT OVERMIX. Shape into 1″ meatballs and bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until centers are no longer pink. Remove meatballs to baking pan.
Meanwhile drain pineapple and set aside, reserving juice. Combine reserved pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and water in mixing bowl. Add Ultra Gel gradually, stirring with a wire whisk. Add green peppers, pineapple and water chestnuts. Pour sauce over meatballs and bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees until peppers are crisp-tender.
Serve over hot cooked rice.