The Meatball Recipe

December 20th, 2010, 9:22 pm PST by Greg

We had our annual holiday open house last Saturday. That seems to deserve a blog post of its own, but for now, I want to get this out of the way…

The most requested recipe by-far was for the meatballs that I made. They were described as great comfort food, rustic, and “Filipino”. (Apparently, sweet + sour + meat = Filipino.)

The whole thing can be made ahead and frozen. For the open house, I froze the meatballs ahead (since they’re the time-consuming part) and made up the sauce the day before: that seemed to work pretty well.

This recipe is very much from my childhood. My mother made it quite often—I know it only has her recipe, although it may have come from a magazine or something. It’s great with mashed potatoes. It travels well (to a potluck or whatever) in a slow cooker or casserole dish.


Really, any meatball recipe will do. This is the one I used, but if you want to go with a fancy beef/pork combo, that’s fine by me.

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ingredients together. Roll into inch balls: I like one inch for appetizers, but bigger if I’m serving it as a meal.
  3. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and cooked through: 15–25 minutes, depending on the size of the balls. Or you could cook them in a sauté pan if you’re impatient.


  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped into strips/chunks
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (or 1 cup if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar (or wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion in butter until softened.
  2. Combine the other ingredients. Add the onions when they are cooked.
  3. Combine the sauce and meatballs in a casserole dish. Bake at 350°F for about an hour, stirring halfway through. They’re done when the sauce is bubbling nicely.

For the open house, I did the last step in a slow cooker: just combined the sauce and meatballs in the slow cooker about 4 hours ahead and let it do its thing.

3 Responses to “The Meatball Recipe”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Mmmmm Mmmmm, they were yummy. Now thanks to the recipe post, we can make them throughout the year – yeah!

  2. Open House 2010-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] meatballs (from my mother’s recipe) […]

  3. Ruby Says:

    You’re my hero! I shall be making these soon!