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Spicy Holiday Meatballs

Yield 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped and divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cracker meal
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Garnish: fresh chopped sage

How to Make It

  1. Sauté 1 chopped onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.

  2. Add tomato puree and next 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

  3. Combine ground beef, remaining 1 onion, jalapeño pepper, and next 5 ingredients. Shape into 40 (1/2-inch) balls. Place on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan.

  4. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until no longer pink; add to sauce in skillet, stirring gently to coat. Stir in hot sauce just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

  5. Note: Cooked or uncooked meatballs may be frozen up to 1 month. Reheat frozen cooked meatballs in a 350° oven 10 to 12 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Bake uncooked frozen meatballs in a 350° oven 25 minutes. Freeze sauce separately; thaw in refrigerator, and cook until thoroughly heated.