Savory Meatballs in Delectable Cranberry and Wine Sauce

Are you bored of the same old meatball recipe and looking for a way to add some excitement to your dinner table? Look no further than these Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce. This dish is sure to impress even the most seasoned foodie with its combination of savory and sweet flavors.

The sauce is made from a delightful mixture of whole berry cranberry sauce, pinot noir wine, brown sugar, and dry mustard. When heated together on the stove, these ingredients create a rich and decadent sauce that is both tangy and sweet. Paired with homemade meatballs made from lean ground beef, eggs, onion, celery, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard, this meal is guaranteed to be a hit with everyone at the table.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. The meatballs can be prepared according to the package directions before being combined with the flavorful sauce in a saucepan. Once combined, just let everything simmer for a few minutes until the flavors have melded together into something truly special.

Whether you’re an experienced home chef or simply looking for a creative way to switch up your weeknight meal routine, these Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce are sure to delight your taste buds. So what are you waiting for? Head into the kitchen and get ready to impress yourself (and your dinner guests) with this irresistible recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce
Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce

Are you tired of the same old meatball recipes that you’ve been making for years? Look no further than these meatballs in cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce! This unique recipe is sure to delight your taste buds with its savory and sweet combination.

One reason you’ll love this recipe is because it’s incredibly easy to make. Simply prepare the meatballs according to the package directions, and then combine the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and Pinot Noir wine in a saucepan. Let the sauce simmer until it’s thick and delicious, and then add your prepared meatballs to the mix.

Another reason to give this recipe a try is its versatility. Whether you’re serving it as an appetizer or a main dish, this dish is sure to impress your guests. The smoked flavor of the meatballs pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the cranberry sauce, making it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

And let’s not forget about the health benefits of this dish. Using lean ground beef and turkey meatballs instead of fatty beef will help you cut down on calories while still fulfilling your cravings for something hearty and delicious. Plus, cranberries are packed with antioxidants that can help boost your immune system!

Finally, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re having a family dinner at home or entertaining guests, this dish will be a hit. And with its beautiful presentation, it’s almost too pretty to eat.

Overall, these meatballs in cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce are an adventurous and delicious twist on classic meatball recipes. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try and experience culinary delight like never before!

Ingredient List

 These juicy meatballs are swimming in a savory and sweet cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce.
These juicy meatballs are swimming in a savory and sweet cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce.

Let’s gather the ingredients!

  • 4 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • 2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ cups grated onion
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ cups finely minced celery
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
  • Two cans (16 ounce) of whole-berry cranberry sauce, divided
  • 1 cup pinot noir wine, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of dried crushed red pepper or hot Chinese mustard (use more or less, depending on your preference)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Note: For smoked meatballs, you will need 2 C of whole cranberry sauce or BBQ sauce in place of the cranberry-pinot noir sauce.

The Recipe How-To

 Create a palate-pleasing masterpiece with this easy-to-follow meatball recipe.
Create a palate-pleasing masterpiece with this easy-to-follow meatball recipe.

Now that we have gone over the ingredients, let’s get into how to make these meatballs in cranberry and pinot noir sauce. This recipe is easy to follow, and perfect for those who want to impress their guests without spending hours in the kitchen.

Step 1: Prepare the meatballs

Start by preparing your smoked meatballs according to the package directions, or use your own homemade meatball recipe. You will need approximately 2 lbs of lean ground beef, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1 finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup of finely chopped celery, 2 teaspoons of dry mustard (or use hot Chinese mustard if you prefer), and pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Shape mixture into meatballs that are roughly 1-2 inches in diameter.

Step 2: Prepare the cranberry pinot noir sauce

In a small saucepan, combine one 16 ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of pinot noir wine, and 2 teaspoons of dry mustard. Use hot Chinese mustard if you prefer it spicier.

Stir frequently over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is well combined. Reduce heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until it is reduced by about one-third.

Step 3: Combine meatballs and cranberry pinot noir sauce

Place your prepared meatballs into your preferred cooking device – either a slow cooker or a deep baking dish.

Pour the prepared cranberry pinot noir sauce over the top of the meatballs, ensuring that they are completely covered with the sauce.

Step 4: Cook the Meatballs

If using a slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or until meatballs are fully cooked and sauce is thickened to your liking.

If using a deep baking dish, preheat your oven to 375°F. Cover the dish with foil tightly and bake for 45-60 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has thickened.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy!

Once the meatballs are cooked, serve them hot with toothpicks as an appetizer or as a main dish over a bed of rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles, and garnish with fresh parsley or chives. These cranberry pinot noir meatballs are sure to impress your guests with their sweet and tangy flavor.

Now that you know how to make these delicious smoked meatballs in cranberry pinot noir sauce, feel free to experiment with different substitutions and variations—or stick with the tried-and-true recipe for a guaranteed hit every time!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors makes this dish a crowd-pleaser.
The perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors makes this dish a crowd-pleaser.

Making substitutions or variations in a recipe is always a good idea to personalize it and adapt it to your liking. Here are some suggestions you can try for this Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe:

– Ground Meat: You can use any ground meat of your choice, like turkey, chicken, lamb, or pork. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary.

– Sauce Base: Instead of using whole berry cranberry sauce, you can use jellied cranberry sauce or even homemade cranberry sauce. If you don’t have pinot noir wine, you can substitute it with any red wine of your choice.

– Heat and Spice: If you like spicy food, you can add some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or chili powder to the meatball mixture or the sauce. You can also use hot Chinese mustard instead of dry mustard.

– Sweetness: You can adjust the sweetness of the sauce by adding more or less brown sugar. You could also try adding honey or maple syrup instead.

– Herbs and Spices: Experiment with different herbs and spices to add more depth and flavor to your meatballs. Fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, or sage go well with beef meatballs.

– Texture: To make your meatballs extra moist and tender, you can add some breadcrumbs soaked in milk, grated Parmesan cheese, or even chopped mushrooms.

Overall, substitutions and variations are a great way to experiment with new flavors and enhance your favorite recipes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and enjoy!

Serving and Pairing

 Elevate your weeknight dinner game with these flavorful meatballs.
Elevate your weeknight dinner game with these flavorful meatballs.

Now that your meatballs in cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce are ready, it’s time to plan the perfect meal. These meatballs are a versatile dish that can be served in numerous ways, from appetizers to main dishes.

As an appetizer, I suggest serving these meatballs with toothpicks and accompanied by a glass of red wine, such as a Pinot Noir, which will further enhance the flavor notes in the dish. If you’re looking for something fancier, try pairing it with bubbly! This will give your guests an elevated experience that will be worth remembering.

As a main course, these meatballs can be served on top of mashed potatoes or egg noodles for an elegant yet comforting meal. You can even try serving them over rice or quinoa as a gluten-free option. The sweet and tangy cranberry sauce pairs well with hearty dishes, so I recommend serving this recipe during cooler weather or for winter holidays.

Another idea is to turn these meatballs into sliders or sandwiches by placing them in between brioche buns or rolls. The acidity of the sauce will balance perfectly with the soft bread, creating the ultimate flavor combination.

To make this meal an absolute hit, add some steamed veggies like broccoli or green beans. This would help add another element of texture to your dish and provide some nutritional value as well!

No matter how you decide to serve these meatballs, they are sure to be a favorite at any gathering. Their simplicity and playful versatility make them great for any occasion while their unique flavor profile will leave your guests wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bring a touch of elegance to your dinner table with this delicious meatball entrée.
Bring a touch of elegance to your dinner table with this delicious meatball entrée.

One of the best things about this meatballs in cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce recipe is that it can easily be made ahead of time. In fact, this recipe is perfect for meal prepping! Simply prepare the meatballs according to the package directions, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat the meatballs, place them on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave for one to two minutes.

If you want to make the cranberry Pinot Noir sauce ahead of time, it will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat it on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

If you happen to have leftovers of this delicious dish, store the meatballs and sauce separately in airtight containers. The meatballs will keep well in the fridge for up to four days, while the sauce can be kept for up to five.

To reheat leftovers, simply place them in an oven-safe dish and reheat them in the oven at 350°F (180°C) until they are heated through. If you prefer to use a microwave, be sure to stir the meatballs and sauce occasionally as they warm up.

Overall, this recipe is perfect for make-ahead meals or when you want a quick and easy dinner option that can also double as leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Cranberries and Pinot Noir work together in this meatball recipe to create a complex and flavorful sauce.
Cranberries and Pinot Noir work together in this meatball recipe to create a complex and flavorful sauce.

Making meatballs in cranberry and pinot noir sauce may look simple, but sometimes you may run into some common issues that affect the outcome of the recipe. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you make these meatballs to perfection every time!

1. Properly prepare the meatballs

No matter how delicious the sauce is, it won’t be able to cover up poorly prepared meatballs. Be sure to use lean ground beef and follow the package directions for making your meatballs. You want your meatballs to be tender and juicy, not dry or tough.

2. Add flavor to your meatballs

I highly recommend using Worcestershire sauce and diced onion and celery in your meatball mixture. These ingredients help give the meatballs a savory flavor that goes perfectly with the sweet cranberry and pinot noir sauce.

3. Use smoked or Italian-style meatballs

While regular homemade or store-bought meatballs work well with this sauce, using smoked or Italian-style meatballs can give an extra kick of flavor.

4. Don’t overcook the sauce

When cooking the cranberry and pinot noir sauce, be careful not to boil it for too long as this can cause the sugars to caramelize and change the flavor profile of the sauce.

5. Opt for red wine instead of pinot noir

If you don’t have pinot noir on hand, any red wine will work well with this recipe. Just be sure it’s a dry red wine that’s not too sweet.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your meatballs in cranberry and pinot noir sauce turn out perfectly every time. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – it’s one of my favorites!

FAQ

As someone who has tried this recipe several times, I understand that you might have some questions. Let me answer a few FAQs to help you troubleshoot any issues and make sure your meatballs in cranberry and Pinot Noir sauce turn out perfectly every time.

What wine is best for meatballs?

When it comes to pairing wine with meatballs, red varieties are often the go-to for their ability to complement the rich and savory flavors. Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Syrah are top picks for enhancing the taste of this beloved dish.

Should I cook my meatballs in the sauce?

When it comes to cooking meatballs in sauce, there are a couple of options. While you technically have the option to cook raw meatballs in the sauce, I personally suggest first browning them in a skillet using a touch of olive oil. This method creates an ideal texture on the outer layer of the meatball, while still allowing the interior to remain moist and flavorful as it continues to cook in the tomato sauce.

What red wine goes with meatballs?

As a sommelier, I have extensive knowledge of various types of wine. From the classic Chianti and Tuscan Red Blends to lesser-known varieties such as Aglianico and Nero d’Avola, I am here to recommend the best wine options and pairing dishes for a delectable experience. Additionally, I suggest trying a Merlot with a super-fruity, high-acid flavor and exploring the bold flavors of Primitivo or Zinfandel. Follow my suggestions to get a sensational taste of the wine world.

How do you make Mario Batali meatballs?

We have a recipe here that calls for a mixture of 80% lean beef and 20% fat to make 3/4 of a pound of hamburger. Along with that, we need to beat three eggs and chop 1/2 of a cup of marjoram. We also need 3/4 of a cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, with even more to serve. Then we have to add 1/4 of a cup of extra-virgin olive oil and season the mixture with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Additionally, we require 3/4 of a pound of ground pork and 1 1/2 cups of panko breadcrumbs, which have to be soaked in milk.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce recipe is a masterpiece that will leave your taste buds longing for more. The combination of different ingredients makes it savory, sweet, and spicy all at once. With its easy preparation and delicious flavors, it is a recipe that everyone should try.

Whether you choose to make smoked meatballs or plain meatballs, this dish is perfect for family dinners or party appetizers. You can also substitute ingredients to cater to different dietary needs without affecting the flavors.

The best part is that this recipe pairs perfectly with red wine and Italian-style dishes. The cranberry pinot noir sauce is a game-changer as it adds an exciting twist to traditional meatball recipes.

Finally, try to experiment with different variations of the Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce recipe to find your favorite combination of ingredients. Share with family and friends and enjoy this delicious dish on many occasions.

In summary, the Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves savory and sweet flavors. With its simple preparation process and many variations, everyone can personalize it for their dietary needs. Bon Appetit!

Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce

Meatballs in Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce Recipe

This has been a favorite of ours for many years. It is from the "Recipes from the Vineyards of Oregon" cookbook. Delicious and elegant meatballs, the food service where DH teaches now makes these for entertaining.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 24 meatballs
Calories 170.8 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pinot noir wine
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard (can use hot chinese if you wish)
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Lightly oil a shallow baking dish.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, celery, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and pepper.
  • Shape into 24- 1 1/2 inch balls.
  • Place in one layer in baking dish.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together the cranberry sauce, brown sugar, Pinot Noir and mustard.
  • Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and set aside until needed.
  • After the first 20 minutes of baking, pour Cranberry and Pinot Noir Sauce over meatballs.
  • Bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove meatballs and sauce to a serving platter and serve warm.
  • A chafing dish or crockpot keeps them warm for buffets.

Add Your Own Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 2122gCalories: 170.8kcalCarbohydrates: 22.2gProtein: 9.2gFat: 4.6gSaturated Fat: 1.8gCholesterol: 40.1mgSodium: 97.3mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 16.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Healthy, Meat
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