Eckert's Apple Butter Meatballs
As I have admitted before, I get more excited about the cooking opportunities affiliated with the Superbowl than the actual game. And every Superbowl party needs a fabulous meatball dish, don’t you agree? This year, I will be making Eckert’s Apple Butter Meatballs for our guests. This recipe is a crowd-pleaser because everyone loves Eckert’s Apple Butter!!! It also received rave reviews in our November appetizer cooking classes. The delicious sweet sauce is a combination of Eckert’s Apple Butter and Eckert’s Apple Butter BBQ sauce. This appetizer is kid-friendly and as usual, we will to have more kids than adults this Sunday in my house! My favorite way to make these meatballs is to bake them, then finish them and hold them in the crock pot. However, they can just as easily be made in the oven and finished on the stove top. If you plan to make these ahead, stop after the baking step and refrigerate. Then rewarm and finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce an hour or two before serving. (These meatballs are very tender and juicy and so just be sure to transfer them gently.)
I hope you will give this recipe a try when you are cheering on your favorite team this weekend or just checking out the commercials (my favorite part of Superbowl).
Eat well this winter, Angie
- 1 pound uncooked ground beef
- 1 uncooked Eckert's Applewurst sausage link (1/4 pound) casing removed
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried plain bread crumbs*
- 1/4 cup finely minced onions
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 jar (4-ounce) Eckert's regular or No-Added Sugar Apple Butter, divided
- 1 bottle (14-ounce) Eckert's Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently mix ground beef and sausage. Add bread crumbs, onions, salt and 1/2 jar of apple butter. Gently combine all ingredients.
- Form mixture into round balls about 1 1/4-inch in diameter. In a single layer, place meatballs on baking sheet and bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 150°F.
- Pour remaining apple butter and the whole bottle of BBQ sauce in a slow cooker. Transfer meatballs and cover with sauce. Cover with lid and place slow cooker on medium or high heat for 1 to 3 hours.
- Makes about 24 balls.
To prepare meatballs on a stovetop:
- After baking meatballs, place meatballs in a large skillet; add remaining apple butter and jar of BBQ sauce. Gently toss to cover. Cook over low heat about 1 to 2 hours. Stir gently once or twice.
- *Gluten free option: Substitute finely crushed (gluten free) rice crackers or Rice Chex cereal instead of bread crumbs.