This recipe for appetizer meatballs is made with a tangy red wine sauce. These tasty meatballs can also be served as a main dish! Serve them with hot cooked rice or noodles and your family's favorite veggies.
The meatballs are served hot from the slow cooker, making them an excellent appetizer for a home party, tailgating, or a potluck event. The recipe is easily doubled for a crowd.
See the tips and variations below the recipe for some shortcuts and helpful tips for advance preparation.
Southern Grape Jelly Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef (chuck or round)
- 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs, plain
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- dash ground allspice
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 2 beef bouillon cubes or equivalent base or granules for double strength broth
- 1/2 cup good quality dry red wine
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- kosher salt, to taste
Combine all meatball ingredients. Mix well and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place in a large shallow baking dish; bake at 400° for 15 minutes.
In a saucepan whisk the cornstarch and water. Add the bouillon cubes or beef base, red wine, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened. Add salt to taste, if necessary.
Combine the meatballs and sauce in a chafing dish or slow cooker and set it on low or warm for serving.
Serve the meatballs with toothpicks and provide small plates with napkins for the guests.
Makes about 36 meatballs.
Tips and Variations
Skip the meatball ingredients and baking instructions and use a good quality frozen meatball in the recipe. Add them to the sauce and cook them in the slow cooker on high for about 1 1/2 hours before serving. Reduce the slow cooker setting to low for serving.
Bake the meatballs and the sauce the day before the party. Refrigerate them in separate containers. About an hour before the party, put everything in the slow cooker with the setting on high. Stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce. Reduce the setting to low for serving.
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