April 6, 2011 - Comfort Food

Update: OK, I'm eating the meatballs now, and the sauce really isn't as good as I remember it to be! Evidently my tastes have changed, because now I find it way to vinegary. The original cookbook is in AZ, so I can't check to see if I mistyped the amount of vinegar, I'm just going to assume I did and change it from 3 Tbsp. to 1 Tbsp. right now!

Every now and then, a cold, windy day brings on the urge to make some comfort food. Normally I'm into the lower fat, higher fiber, less meat, more veggies type of meals, but every now and then I throw caution to the wind and we pig out on something that might be less healthy for us, but sure does taste good. This morning I was reading the blogs to which I subscribe, and noticed that Kris, from Simply Living, had started a new cooking blog, Kris Simply Cooking. She will basically feature recipes for cooking on a budget, which is how I pretty much cook every day. Anyway, just reading her first (and as of yet, only) recipe made me hungry for comfort food, namely one of my old standbys, Barbecued Meatballs, made with Baked Meatballs.

First I made a double batch of the Baked Meatballs, as I always like to freeze some for future meals.......
Baked Meatballs
(serves 4)

1 pound ground beef, extra lean

¼ cup diced onion

2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)

1/3 cup dry bread crumbs

¼ cup milk
1 tablespoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400°F
Combine all ingredients, mix well. Form into 1-inch meatballs. Place on a Pam sprayed baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (I bake mine 15 minutes, 'cause I like them browned a bit).

I put half of the baked meatballs into a small crockpot, and the other half onto a rack to cool. Today my meatballs weren't exactly round. That's what happens when you don't weigh your ground beef, and get too much liquid in the recipe! That's OK though, flat bottoms don't make them taste any different.

Barbecued Meatballs

1 recipe Baked Meatballs (above)

3/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs in crockpot. Cook on low, covered, for 6-8 hours. If the sauce is too thin, and it always is, I thicken it with a cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water.

We love this served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.

The other half of the meatball recipe is quick frozen, and will then be bagged and kept in the freezer for another meal.

Here is the original Barbecued Meatball recipe, as done in the oven. I think this was from an old Crisco cookbook. It's even better than the crockpot recipe I normally use (for convenience).

Barbecued Meatballs - original recipe

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup milk

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup Crisco (substitute vegetable or canola oil

3/4 cup ketchup

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce and ground beef. Mix well and shape into 18 meatballs. Roll the meatballs in the flour and, in a large skillet, brown the meatballs on all sides in hot vegetable or canola oil. Transfer the meatballs to a 2-quart casserole.

Pour off the excess fat from the skillet, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour over meatballs in casserole. Cover and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Skim off excess fat and serve with mashed potatoes or parsley buttered noodles. Serves 6.


  1. That's so funny - I made a huge batch of meatballs for the freezer yesterday, great minds think alike :)

  2. I love meatballs. I'll have to try this recipe. Delicious! I love that you froze some too!

  3. Whoo hoo! not only are you a good little garden worker! but can cook too :o) ( licking my lips from drooling over those meat balls .

  4. That sounds so good Granny! "The Italian" just loves anything with Bar B Q flavor or sauce. I will have to make this for him with my "German" meatballs. I just call them that because I make them. His family loves Neopolitan meatballs which have raisins and cinnamon in them. Too sweet for me!

  5. Erin, of course we do!

    Meems, I usually bake up about 5 pounds at a time, but I didn't have that much meat thawed out for this spur of the moment recipe that was going to be a meatloaf ;-)

    Ginny, I fed a husband and five kids for a lot of years. My cooking has slowed considerably with just the two of us to feed.

    Robin, I love sweet barbecue sauces, so I'd probably love The Italian's Neapolitan meatballs.

  6. Yum the only thing better to do with a meatball is a meatball sub. Yum.

  7. Daphne, that's an idea for the ones in the freezer. I can make some baguettes, whip up a marinara sauce (with home canned tomato sauce, of course) and thaw the mozzarella!

  8. Yum! can I come to your house for dinner?

  9. Katie, I'm eating them now, and guess what.....they aren't as good as I'd remembered them! Maybe my tastes have changed, but I'm finding them a bit vinegary!

  10. Thanks for the mention ! We have a grad total of TWO recipes now! I hope to get one or two a day posted. Dad is having surgery tomorrow, so that may be a "one" day.

    I sure hope Winco has 80 cent ground beef soon. I am seriously needing to make meatballs!!!

  11. You're welcome, Kris. I was looking for some really old cookbooks today, and I don't know where I put them! One was a WWII era book with really cheap recipes, I'm sure you'd be interested, if I can just figure out where I stashed it!

  12. Our eating habits are the same as yours. You get to a point where you crave something fat. The only problem I see with the recipes is I don't see any garlic. I think I could put it in my cereal in the morning.

  13. I eat the same way you do Granny. High in fiber, more vegetables. I have cut down on my sweets, alot, in the past year. Which is good. Diabetes runs in my family. And I am completely off slurpees now. Woohooo!
    I thought I would never be able to give that up.

    Anyway, I figure a little splurge every now and then shouldn't hurt. The meatballs look delicious!

  14. John, I was out of garlic, I planted it all in my garden ;-)

    ZZ, the meatballs were good, the sauce not so much. See my update at the beginning of the post!

    My mother was a Type I diabetic, as is my youngest son (has been for 30 years now), my husband a Type 2. It runs in both of our families.

  15. Hey Granny.

    It's too bad about the sauce.

    But just so you know, your not alone in your taste buds. I have heard from more than one person that there taste buds have changed over the years.

    I don't know when mine will change, but whenver they do, I have my buds still like chocolate.


  16. Woohoo!! Mine are in the oven now. Perfect day for spaghetti and meatballs. It's cold, windy, and starting to rain. (I think I just heard thunder) I have a jar of last summer's pasta sauce in the crockpot starting to heat up, and I'll be putting the hot meatballs in when they get out of the oven. Thanks for the great dinner idea.

  17. I love spaghetti with meatballs but usually just pan brown them and then drop them in the sauce to finish cooking. I need to give your oven baked variation a try. Nothing like meatball sandwiches with marinara sauce on them. Yum!

  18. ZZ, Mr. Granny commented on the sourness, too. I think I must have mistyped the recipe. I wish I had that book here! And I wish I hadn't blogged about it BEFORE we tasted it! But I had made it many, many times and it was one of our favorites!

    Lori, I hope you enjoyed them. They sure are easy to make.

    Kitsap, I like that the oven baked ones eliminate quite of the bit of fat, but still taste good. That and they're less messy. No grease splatters on my new stove!

  19. So weird.. I made meatballs a few days ago when the temps dipped back down again.

    I'm sneaky with mine tho.. I toss into the food processor dry wheat bread (to make the crumbs) and LOADS of veggies that I puree into mush and incorporate it into the meat so the picky eaters have no idea they're actually eating veggies in their meatballs! - the typical is carrots, celery, garlic (LOTS of garlic...), sometimes I've even tossed a zucchini in there if I had a surplus of them.. parsley, etc etc.. and I use 1/2 lean ground beef and 1/2 ground turkey. The end result tastes the same as the more fatty route of making them and I feel like I'm actually feeding the kids something nutritious. :) Slather it in sauce and mmmm mmmmmm good! We usually will do spaghetti the first night and 2 nights later we'll have the meatball subs. They LOVE those! :)

    oh, and I bake mine too. SO much faster that way!!


  20. Wendy, I loved meatloaf with added veggies, it was so moist and flavorful. Mr. Granny, however, had fits when I did that! If it wasn't made exactly like his mother made it, it wasn't worth eating, LOL! To this day, I usually make two meat loaves, one for my tastes and one for his.

  21. Those look great. I like the freezing part too.

  22. Hi Granny

    I made a mistake one one of my last comments. I meant to say "I hope my tastes still like choccolate".

    And the meatloaf recipe, I happen to have one. It's called "Slap Yo Momma" meatloaf. I think they are trying to say that this meatloaf is so good, it will make you wanna slap yo momma. I'll have to look it up for you and email it to you one of these days.

    The good thing about meatloaf though is that there are so many variations. I have seen some with bacon on top, even.

    Anyway, Have a great day!

  23. Kelly, I do like the meatball recipe for the freezer, it's so easy. It's handy to just toss them into spaghetti sauce or dump some mushroom soup and dry onion soup into a crockpot with them and serve them over noodles or mashed potatoes for an easy meal.

    ZZ, Mr. Granny will not touch meatloaf that hasn't been baked with tomato soup on it! I hate that, so I cook mine separately. They are really good with bacon, but I try to cook with less fat these days, so I often give up a bit of flavor for healthier choices. My favorite meatloaf is half ground white turkey and half lean ground beef....

    Granny's Favorite Meatloaf
    Serves 8

    1 pound extra lean ground beef
    1 pound lean ground turkey
    1 cup diced onion
    1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    1/2 cup egg substitute (or egg whites, or 2 whole eggs)
    3/4 cup catsup, divided
    1 tablespoon light soy sauce
    1 tablespoon dried parsley
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard
    2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

    Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine ground beef, ground turkey, onions, oats, egg substitute, 1/4 cup catsup, soy sauce, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well. Press mixture into a large loaf pan that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Bake for 1 hour.

    Combine remaining 1/2 cup catsup, mustard and brown sugar. Spread mixture over the top of meatloaf. Return to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing.

    Amount per Serving: 284 Calories; 11g at ( 35% calories from fat); 4g Saturated Fat; 4g Monounsaturated Fat; 1g Polyunsaturated Fat; 62mg Cholesterol; 580mg Sodium; 312mg Potassium; 18g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; trace Sugars; 28g Protein. Vitamin A 9%; Vitamin C 6% ; Calcium 2%; Iron 37%

  24. Sounds delicious Granny!

    I have never had turkey meatloaf, but I have eatern turkey lasagna.

    My mom had made it for me a few times. It's actually really good.

    Have a good day!

  25. ZZ, Mr. Granny would refuse to eat ground turkey, so I just don't tell him and he can't tell the difference when it's in stuff like tacos or spaghetti, or when it's mixed with ground beef.

  26. well that's convenient, that he doesn't notice.

    and you keep peace in the house by not telling...ingenius.

    i like turkey myself, but i might be in the minority on that one.