Moo Moo's Baked Meatballs

By • August 8, 2010 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: My grandmother was a superb cook and hostess who threw dinner parties with ease and grace. This recipe reflects her Midwestern roots in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I have added fresh herbs from the garden and sparked up the sauce with vinegar, mustard and paprika. Panko is a nice switch from traditional breadcrumbs. Moo Moo usually made her apple sauce, but I bought mine at the grocery store.Lizthechef

Serves 16 good-sized meatballs, 4 generous servings

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened, organic applesauce
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
  1. Beat the eggs slightly and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour. Shape into meatballs, roll each one in the flour and place on a sided sheet pan.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you prepare the sauce.

Sauce:

  • 2 cups 365 organic ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, such as Colman's
  • 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  1. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over each meatball.
  2. Bake for 35-40 minutes in 400 degree oven. Serve over buttered egg noodles.
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Comments (27) Questions (0)

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Chris_in_oslo

over 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

Moo Moo was a grandparent's name in our family too! For us, it was fractured Swedish for mor mor (mother's mother). Moo Fa for the grandfather. Our meatballs are closer to traditional Swedish than our language, without your spice. But I do like to substitute panko.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Sign me up and please email me plus food52'ers where we go next. What a godsend!

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Give me a couple weeks and it will be ready! I'm getting ready right now for a class I'm teaching this weekend on winter greens. Finalizing all those recipes now! the blog is up next!

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

I made these with ground turkey and they passed the taste test for our healthy heart campaign.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yah team! In case you're interested, and there are certainly better ones out there than I, I'm starting a blog in the next couple weeks called the mostly vegetarian experiment. I'm in the process of building it now, but it will have a lot of recipes that are designed to be veg as well as ones that aren't but I've created them into vegetarian dishes. Part of an experiment I'm on right now - and some of these may interest you for that healthy heart campaign :-)

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

When I was first walking, according to my mother, my grandmother was absent from their apartment. I ran around, crying, "Moo Moo" and when my grandmother returned, I guess, as the story goes, I fell on her and said, "Moo Moo!" as she was so named in our family for the next forty -some years. Thanks for asking , Mare, I will spare you all the walking baby photos.

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

They were terrific, Moo Moo. Thank you, Love, Elizabeth

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

I made this recipe about a month ago...it is absolutely delicious...lots of flavors and I love the name too. (How did she become Moo Moo?)

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I'm late to the party on this one as we were traveling this weekend, but wanted to add my 2 cents. This looks just great to me. I've never even thought of putting apple sauce in with the meat balls and the addition of the apple cider vinegar to the sauce sounds perfect. I know grass-fed beef can be dry when cooked completely, so I imagine the apple sauce plus baking the meatballs with the sauce in the oven keep them nice and moist. Yum!

Me

about 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Oh! And I meant to add that I really love the picture of Moo-Moo. Really just lovely. Thanks so much for sharing all of this with us.

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks for both your comments! I suppose all beef was grass fed when my grandmother made these. In any event, the applesauce was entirely her idea and my meatballs came out very moist.

Dsc_0675-x2a

about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thank you for sharing this precious family recipe! What a grand woman, Moo Moo, too!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

I love sharing old recipes and happy family kitchen memories - thank you!

Profile

about 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Your Moo Moo is just lovely. These sound great!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

C'mon over - guess what's for supper ;)

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

Liz, I love your history and your grandmother is beautiful!.....so are your meatballs!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks, Mare - it's nice to remake old family recipes and remember loved ones.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

about 4 years ago lapadia

Another great recipe when I am in the mood for sweet and tangy, thanks. Beautiful picture of your grandmother!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

about 4 years ago lapadia

Oh, and I also meant to say thanks for the comment you posted on my meataball recipe the other day...due to my "computer operator error" (long story), I ended up deleting the post and re-submitting...which resulted in me losing your comment and my reply back...so Thanks again!

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about 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Your Moo moo and my Aunt julie would have gotten along great!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

I think I commented on this on your recipe - yes, for certain...

Mrs._larkin_370

about 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum. Looks delicious and so easy! Great photos Liz! LOVE the one of Moo Moo. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

It is so fun to see/hear the nickname I gave my grandmother when I was age 1. She would so love food52!

Hib_kitchen

about 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

Now this sounds like the midwestern all the way. Full of Eastern European touches. I love apple cider vinegar in sauces. I am going to make this when my son comes home from overseas. It is home on a plate.I was born about 40 minutes from Kalamazoo in Marshall, Michigan. My family's restaurant is still there after 100 years. I wonder if you Moo Moo ever ate there?

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

And I went to Kalamazoo College - know Marshall well.Thanks -

Bmp_9375

about 4 years ago Sunchowder

Oh Liz, another gorgeous photo! I love this recipe and look forward to making it for my family!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 4 years ago Lizthechef

Thanks - I know you have had a busy weekend and appreciate your comment!