Sherried Meatballs

 Quite a few of the recipes in the Des Moines Symphony cookbook FanFare are for a group. They do scale down easily and I tried this recipe for meatballs. The recipe can be used as an appetizer if you make the meatballs smaller or as a meal if you make them larger. They freeze well.
  We wanted them for supper so I scaled down the recipe to half and made the meatballs larger. If they are too large, they will not get done in the center, so do not get them much bigger than about medium size balls.
  There is no filler in the meatballs which is different, and if you use gluten free ketchup they are good for Celiacs. I always have sherry on hand so this was an easy recipe that could simmer while I did other things. We had them with scalloped corn and creamy poppy seed noodles. 
Sherried Meatballs
2 pounds ground beef (at least 85% lean)
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ cup dried parsley
1 cup catsup
2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup sherry
  Mix beef, parsley and onion powder. Shape beef into 1 inch meatballs. Brown in skillet and drain off far. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce is thick (about 1 hour) or microwave at medium power for 10 to 12 minutes. 
YIELD: 50 cocktail size or 30 main dish meatballs


  1. Can this be cooking sherry? Thanks!

  2. It could, but cooking sherry has salt in it, and the flavor is not as good. A small bottle of dry sherry from the liquor department in your store will give you a much better flavor. Both Sue and I use it in many things. Sauces, gravies, and soups all benefit from a little sherry added. Also good with meat and poultry to add a layer of flavor.

  3. Nadine, I agree with Myrna. Buy a less than $10 bottle of dry sherry - it's much better than cooking sherry and lasts a long time. It's a fortified wine, so it doesn't turn into vinegar in the bottle.
    Lots of cooks in the 40's and 50's used it in chicken dishes especially - that's the "cocktail before dinner" era too.
    Don't know why it isn't as popular any more - it's great flavor for most dishes. Deglaze your pan with a tablespoon or two after browning almost anything, chicken, pork, beef,or seafood and pour it over the meat to serve.

  4. OK. Thanks! I have it on my shopping list.

  5. I think you will find you use it quite a lot. There are a lot of recipes that call for it, and it is good with about any meat or poultry. I use it all the time to deglaze a pan and make gravy.


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