Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Granny's Sweet & Sour Meatballs

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This one reminds me of my childhood.  

I've been waiting to post this recipe for a long, long time.  Sorry to my brother, who has been waiting to get it from me.  But see, we got a new computer, and the pictures were on the old computer.  And so, it would have required me to plug in the old computer to get a charge going, and then upload the photos from there.  Which would have taken like five minutes or maybe even a little bit more than five minutes.  So, it's understandable.

Growing up, my grandparents lived in Victoria, but as my brother and I got a little bit older, my Granny and Grandpa moved to a home about seven minutes away from our house.  My dad was their only child, and thus my brother and I were their only grandchildren, so we were a tad spoiled by them.  Actually, no, not spoiled, just loved.  A lot.  It was a nice feeling to have my grandparents at things like my softball games or piano recitals, or at my brother's lacrosse games.  We felt like we were their entire world.    

My granny really enjoyed to cook.  One of my oldest memories of her is making cheddar baking powder biscuits in her kitchen as a little girl, with me standing on a stool so that I could see over the counter.  I posted recently about finding a Cauliflower Cheese Soup recipe of my granny's that took me right back to that same time and feeling.  It's bittersweet to have memories like that.    

When we would go for Sunday dinners at my grandparents' house, we often got to make special requests for what we wanted her to cook.  Our favourites included all of the classic comfort foods, from chicken pot pie to lasagna.  But my personal treasured choice was her Sweet and Sour Meatballs on Rice...which my mom just happened to recently uncover the recipe for!  Walking into their home on a Sunday, you would get the most amazing waft of a combination of delicious food and my grandpa's Old Spice cologne.   I can still hear my granny saying, "woooooo doggies!" when she would check the oven to see how dinner was coming along and was pleased with the results.  

Obviously my granny would make these meatballs with regular breadcrumbs, but to keep it gluten-free I have taken some Silver Hills gluten-free bread from the back of the freezer, toasted it, food processed it, and used it in this recipe instead of the wheat version.  The result was very close to what I remember on the Sunday dinner table at my granny's house.  The Hubby loved it!  I served it over white rice, and we had a green salad on the side to try to get some vegetable intake too.  

The sauce and meatballs with the rice is such a delicious flavour combo.  The ingredients are simple, but simple can often be super delicious.  If you make this, please let me know what you think of what I consider to be my granny's specialty!

My Granny's Sweet & Sour Meatballs


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/8 cup white vinegar
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (I made my own using gluten-free bread)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Milk (to moisten, if needed)
  • Rice, to serve meatballs on top of

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together brown sugar, vinegar, water, dry mustard, and ketchup, and heat.

In a bowl, mix together ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, and salt.  Add milk to moisten if necessary.  Shape meat mixture into 1-inch round balls.  In a large frying pan, brown meatballs over medium heat.  Drain any excess fat.

Place cooked meatballs into a casserole dish, pour the sauce over top, and stir to combine.

Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, removing lid with about 10 minutes left in cooking time.


Recipe Source:  My one-of-a-kind granny, Margaret Roney (1920 - 2012)



  1. That's a lot of meatballs for you two. Do they freeze well?

  2. Hmmm...don't know actually...they never made it long enough to have to go into the freezer! Maybe next time! I don't see why they wouldn't freeze well though. Let me know if you try it!


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