Marmalade Meatballs are little beauties, and…they are sweet, sassy and savory. I love them! Not only because they are all things just mentioned but because all those adjectives begin with the letter “S”. I begin with the letter “S” so you can understand part of my adoration and connection.
Some foods take us back a million (or at least 30) years and this is one of them.
With the first taste of Marmalade Meatballs, I was reminded of every party I attended between ages 10-30. There would always be a Crock-pot full of store-bought meatballs bathed in jam or jelly, and everyone loved them…except I.
With the second taste of Marmalade Meatballs, I realized two things the retro meatballs had been missing. Homemade meatballs & homemade sauce!
First, let’s talk about the meatballs. I have become a meatball snob to the point I probably need to seek counseling. I don’t want to turn my nose up at the pre-made version, I really don’t. I know cooking with them would make my life easier. Plus, it would help if others could understand it’s not my fault my upper lip gets stuck in a snarl, and I growl, anytime store-bought meatballs spoil a gorgeous sauce or a cheesy meatball grinder. It’s just that my mom made the best meatballs, ever, and I have been spoiled!
Now, let’s talk about the homemade sauce – the other change that makes today’s Marmalade Meatballs version so delicious. The Marmalade Meatball sauce is a combo of orange marmalade, cider vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, ginger, red pepper flakes and black pepper. It is easy, sweet and fragrant with a touch of umami goodness.
Kids and adults will love this updated version of Marmalade Meatballs. They are perfect whether served as an appetizer or nestled over a mound of buttery polenta or creamy mashed potatoes. Plus, they are just as good made with ground pork, chicken or turkey.
I’m sure you will love Susie’s, Simply Sated, sweet, sassy, savory, szesty, succulent, Smarmalade Smeatballs made by me – the gal who loves “s” adjectives. Just please, please, please don’t make them with store-bought meatballs. You might hear snarling Susie in your dreams.
While here, please check out my Secret Ingredient Shrimp Cocktail
And… Creamy Chicken Soup
Thanks to Becky Hardin (The Cookie Rookie) for these beautiful photos. I know she will never hear me growl about her sensational photography. You will want to click over to visit The Cookie Rookie.
Bec has 5 years of terrific recipes – here are two of my recent favorites: Thai Peanut Cauliflower Steaks and Swedish Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chuck 80/20 works well
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets minced
- 2 green onions white & light green parts, chopped
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- For the Marmalade Sauce:
- ¾ cup orange marmalade
- 1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon + 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼-½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper red pepper flakes
- Garnish options: Fresh chopped chives cilantro or parsley
- Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- Set an oven rack to middle-top position or about 6 inches from the heat source. Set oven to broil (if cooking immediately).
- In a large bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce (or the anchovies), scallions, egg, salt, garlic, ginger, black pepper and allspice. Mix gently until well combined.
- Form the beef mixture into 1¼” balls. (At this point, the meatballs can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated overnight.)
- If cooking the meatballs immediately, place them on the prepared baking sheet 1-inch apart.
- Broil the meatballs 5 minutes. Remove meatballs from the oven and turn them over to brown on the other side. Broil an additional 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- While meatballs cook, make the Marmalade Sauce. In a small saucepan, combine marmalade, cider vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce thickens enough to adhere to the meatballs.
- When meatballs are cooked through, dip them in the sauce and return them to the baking sheet. To get the marmalade orange zest slices on each meatball, pile a little bit of the orange zest (from the sauce) onto each meatball.
- Place the tray of meatballs back under the broiler and cook until the glaze is bubbling, approximately 1½-2 minutes. Watch closely.
- Garnish with chopped chives, cilantro or parsley.
- If serving as a meal, buttery polenta or mashed potatoes work beautifully.
- The meatballs make a wonderful appetizer or a main dish.
Original recipe: Melissa Clark "Dinner Changing the Game" cookbook.