Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meatballs with Peppers & Pineapple

I don't have a creative title for Wednesday yet. Might not ever have one. We'll see.

Today I made Meatballs with Peppers & Pineapple. This recipe comes from my favorite food blogger, The Pioneer Woman. I have used many of her recipes (and have her cookbook!) and each one has turned out wonderfully. This one was no exception. I made it in stages throughout the day and that worked out really well.

I didn't have any store-bought breadcrumbs, so I made my own. Super easy! I just used one piece of regular bread and put it in our little food processor.

Then spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet and put in the oven to dry out. I set my oven to 350* and put the crumbs in there while it was preheating. These were done right when the oven beeped (to let me know it was at 350*). One slice of bread equaled 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Perfect!

The recipe calls for ground beef, but we had ground chicken on hand (reduced to $1.49/lb at our local store!), so I used that. If you've never used ground chicken's a weird thing. The texture is nothing like that of ground beef or ground turkey. It's like if you took a raw chicken breast and mashed it up. It's very sticky and mushy. Which makes making meatballs with it kind of interesting. But here it is with the onion, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. All ready to be smushed up.

Here are the balls! I used my handy-dandy cookie scooper (I don't know how I survived without this thing) to make them into uniform size meatballs. I got 18 out of 1 lb. of meat. I popped these in the freezer for 45 minutes or so (didn't plan on that long, but life got in the way).

Green bell peppers, roughly chopped. So green and pretty!

The recipe calls for fresh pineapple, but I used canned. Cheaper and I already had some in the pantry. I used just a little bit less than the entire can.

Now for making the sauce. Some beef broth...

Soy sauce...

Sherry...(I have never used cooking sherry before today. The recipe calls for either sherry or vinegar. Sherry smells nothing like vinegar. It smells like what it is - alcohol.)

Sugar...(and then I added cornstarch, but my hands were too messy to take a photo).

Here's the meatballs, all coated in flour. They look like Russian Teacakes. Don't walk away from them while they're on the counter...wouldn't want a kid or a husband biting into one of these!

Fried! Super easy. The oil was very hot and they browned up really quickly. At this point, they are still raw in the middle, but they'll get cooked through in the sauce later.

Peppers in a hot skillet. Only let these cook for a minute or so...they'll cook more in the sauce later.

Pineapple with the peppers. Again, only cook them for about a minute.

Here's everything simmering happily in the pan! The meatballs finish cooking in the sauce and the cornstarch helps the sauce thicken up nicely. I added about an extra tablespoon of cornstarch to my sauce. To add more cornstarch to an already hot liquid (so it doesn't clump up) - in a small bowl, add about 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch and then just enough cold water to mix it together, then add the cold liquid to the hot liquid.

The finished product! It was absolutely delicious. I will definitely be making this again.


(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 lb. ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey)
1 small diced onion (or 1/2 medium onion) diced finely
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, more to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for frying
2 green bell peppers, seeded and roughly diced
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
2 cups beef broth
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup sherry or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Extra cornstarch, if needed
Extra beef broth, if needed

Combine ground meat, diced onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and crushed red pepper. Mix with hands until combined. Roll meat mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze on the pan for 15 - 30 minutes to firm.

Mix together beef stock, soy sauce, sherry (or vinegar), sugar, and cornstarch.

Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Roll meatballs in flour, then fry in two batches until nice and brown, about two minutes per batch. Remove meatballs and set aside on a separate plate.

Pour off oil from pan and return pan to medium high heat. When pan is hot, throw in the chopped green peppers and cook for one minute. Add pineapple to pan and cook for one minute, stirring gently. Pour in stock/soy sauce mixture, then add meatballs. Stir gently to combine and allow to cook and bubble for a few minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Add salt and crushed red peppers to taste.

Serve over cooked brown or white rice.


  1. looks delicious! Wish I could try it without actually making it...(not hinting, honest) aw heck- on second thought maybe I actually am. :)

  2. I saw this one on PW's website and wondered how it tasted. Thanks for sharing. The pics are great, BTW!