meatballs photo

Photo by James Cridland

It’s the holiday season and always a good time for new recipes. We all love the classics, but it’s also fun to find new things, traditions from other families or cultures. For this log cabin cooking article we are going to look at an unlikely holiday dish. Christmas Meatballs.

History of the Meatball

Meatballs??? What’s a log cabin have to do with meatballs. Well, the connection may not be direct, but meatballs have been around for a long time and were brought to America by immigrants from Europe. Meatballs are often thought of as an Italian dish, but let’s not forget those delicious Swedish Meatballs (the best reason to visit Ikea). But was the meatball originally an Italian concoction or a genius idea of the Swedes? Turns out it wasn’t either. The modern meatball originated with the Persians as a dish called kofta. This was a mashup of meat, rice, lentils and other things to make little cigar-shaped cylinders. The Persons passed this to the Arabs who spread it around the world. The Turks had this recipe and when King Charles XII spent a few years in exile in Turkey he learned of these recipes. When the King returned to Sweden, he brought the meatball recipe along with coffee and stuffed cabbages back with him.

Barbeque Meatballs for Holiday Parties

What holiday party would be complete without some little smokies or bbq meatballs? This staple of the potlucks and football games can get a little Christmas twist without much work.

Christmas Meatballs

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • Onion Soup Mix
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

Sauce

  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup catsup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • Instructions:

    1. Combine eggs, soup mix, bread crumbs, cranberries and parsley in a large bowl. Add meat and mix completely. Shape into balls (approx 1″).
    2. Bake in oven at 425 untill browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes
    3. Mix sauce ingredients in saucepan and cook until the onions are soft.
    4. Pour sauce over meatballs and serve

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