September 11, 2012
1 9-ounce jar grape jelly
1 cans (28 ounce each) tomatoes
1 19-ounce can tomato juice
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 cloves garlic
4 slices bread, quartered
4 lbs lean ground beef or veal
2/3 cup water
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1. For sauce: Spray a large heavy pot with non-stick spray. Add ingredients for sauce. Heat slowly on low heat, stirring often to prevent jelly from scorching, until simmering.
2. For meatballs: In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, drop garlic through feed tube while machine is running. Process until minced. Add bread and process to make fine crumbs. (You will have about 2 cups.) Combine with ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, water, salt and pepper and mix lightly to blend.
3. Wet your hands and form mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Drop into simmering sauce and cook, partially covered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Meatballs may also be baked in an ovenproof casserole in a 325°F oven for 2 hours.)
Keeps 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Freezes well. These taste even better reheated.
Slow Cooker Method: Spray insert of slow cooker with non-stick spray. Combine ingredients for sauce in slow cooker. Cook covered on High for 30 minutes, until simmering. Meanwhile, prepare meat mixture and form into meatballs. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake uncovered at 400°F for 25 minutes. (Alternatively, fry the meatballs in a skillet in hot oil until brown on all sides.) Uncover slow cooker and stir sauce. Add drained meatballs, cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.