Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meatballs in Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce


1 (32 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup red wine
4 tsp Chinese mustard


2 lbs lean ground beef
2 lbs pork
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a large shallow baking dish or pan.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, celery, onion, eggs, worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper: mix well. Tip - I find that mixing ground beef using my hands is the easiest way. (messy, and cold, but faster!)  Shape into 1-inch balls. Place in one layer in prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven, drain grease from pan, and transfer cooked meatballs to a crock pot.  Pour prepared Pinot Noir Sauce over the meatballs. Over low heat, keep warm while serving, stirring occasionally. 

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce:
1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1 cup Pinot Noir wine *
2 teaspoons hot Chinese mustard

Tips: Meatballs may be made in advance, after baking the meatballs, freeze in plastic bags. When ready to use, place the frozen meatballs in the prepared sauce and let simmer in the slow cooker for approximately 1 hour to thaw.  The nice thing is that once you've made these, you can't overcook them, so you can keep them in the crockpot all day on low with no worries.

Also, the 4 lbs of meat may seem like a lot, but these go fast so I recommend making the entire recipe!   I like to drop a few of the whole cranberries over the meatballs for presentation.

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