Here is new recipe we tried last week that turned out great. The kids wouldn’t try it but both my husband and I really enjoyed it and next time we’ll make it a little differently so the kids can enjoy it too. Last week I had it in my head to use up some of the things that have been hanging out in the freezer for a while. Once my freezer was organized I realized that I had 4 packages of hamburger in there.  This recipe seemed like the perfect way to use some of it up. I found the recipe in the Appetizer section of The Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook. For some reason my husband is more apt to try recipes that I find in there. We actually cook from that cookbook quite a bit.

The original recipe calls to place one mini meatball and one pineapple cube on toothpicks to serve as appetizers. Instead of wasting toothpicks we baked all the meatballs with the pineapple and served it as dinner with some rice.

I would recommend making the meatballs in advance and then you would have a quick weeknight dinner to just throw into the oven with the pineapple and sauce. The cookbook says prep time at 45 minutes and baking time at 25 minutes.

Polynesian Meatballs

(adapted from The Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook)

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks or one 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 1 recipe Sweet-and-Sour Sauce (recipe follows) or 1 1/4 cups bottled sweet-and-sour sauce

In a mixing bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, cilantro, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add the beef and the peanuts; mix well. Shape into meatballs about 1-inch in diameter. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from oven; drain.

Add the pineapple chunks to the baking pan and brush with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce. Bake 5 to 8 minutes more or until heated through.

If the remaining sauce is cooled, heat in a saucepan until bubbly and spoon over meatballs to serve.

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (can substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp grated gingerroot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 1 1/3 cups of sauce.

Next time we make this we are not going to include the peanuts in the meatballs as that is why the kids wouldn’t eat them. I’ll just toss in some peanuts with the pineapple when we bake the meatballs with the sauce. Then they can pick them out easily.

My husband and I both rate this recipe  4 stars. Finally a recipe that pleased my husband. He’s usually my toughest customer.