Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Here's a family dinner trick: Make meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later. When you and the fam need to eat next, just pop them out and cook them in this quick Asian-inspired sauce.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 2,307

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 1/4 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
25 frozen meatballs, recipe follows
1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot sauces, more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup drained canned or fresh pineapple chunks
4 tablespoons sliced green onions
4 1/2 cups cooked long-grain or basmati rice, for serving
Ready-To-Go Freezer Meatballs:
5 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 heaping tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large eggs
Olive oil, for frying

In a large skillet (with a lid), combine the brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and 2 cups of the pineapple juice. Stir the mixture around and bring it to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. To thicken the sauce, make a slurry by mixing the cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup pineapple juice in a small bowl until smooth. Add it to the sauce, whisking to combine.

Add the frozen meatballs, sriracha and bell pepper and toss to combine. Cover the skillet and cook until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are heated through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the pineapple, then sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Serve the meatballs and sauce over rice and sprinkle on the rest of the green onions at the end.

Combine the beef, breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, cream, mustard, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and eggs in a large bowl. Knead it all together with your hands until well combined.

Scoop out 1-tablespoon portions of the meat mixture and roll into neat balls. Put them on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets as you go, then put the sheets in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm them up before frying.

To brown the meatballs, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add some meatballs to the skillet and cook on all sides until they have great color on the surface and are fully cooked inside, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the meatballs on paper towels when they're done, then line them up on clean parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Cook the remaining meatballs.

Put the baking sheets in the freezer, uncovered, until the meatballs are frozen and firm on the surface, 30 to 45 minutes. Then just pop the meatballs into 5 to 7 freezer bags (roughly 25 per bag) and freeze them immediately. They'll be there when you need them.

Source: foodnetwork.com

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