The thing about these meatballs is you can’t tell people what’s in them before they try them. No one is going to believe that bottled chili sauce and grape jelly is a good idea.
Once they try them, though, you’re in the clear. They’re so weirdly good… it’s no wonder “Jelly Balls” is one of the most famous recipes from the extensive Best of Bridge collection. (Don’t listen to my mother when she calls them her “famous meatballs.” They may be famous, but they ain’t hers.
This is a variation on that Best of Bridge recipe. The original calls for making your own meatballs (I wasn’t in the mood to do that) and cooking them in a slow cooker (I prefer a slightly faster braise in the oven).
Whichever way you choose to make them, don’t rush it; there’s something almost magical that happens to the sauce that just takes time.
See how they go from weird and gloopy (left) to dark and not gloopy at all? Be patient and let the magic happen – it’s worth it.
PS… can we take a sec to talk about the awesomeness of my spoon?
It came from the gift shop of the Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis. I know absolutely nothing about the artist but I love it. And, full disclosure, it’s never actually been used to (god forbid) stir food.
Not My Mother’s Famous Meatballs
1 box good quality frozen meatballs
1 cup Heinz Chili Sauce (regular or chunky)
1 cup grape jelly
juice of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place frozen meatballs in an oven-proof covered casserole or braising pan. Stir together chili sauce, grape jelly and lemon juice. Pour over meatballs.
Bake for a couple hours, covered, stirring once.
Serve hot as an hors d’eouvre, or as an entree with rice or, my favourite, super-creamy mashed potatoes. I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but a sprinkle of fresh, chopped parsley wouldn’t hurt.