Also known as “My Aunt Sue’s Meatballs” and “Bavarian Meatballs”
I’m not sure where the original recipe came from, but for as long as I can remember we’ve had these at Christmastime. They’re a HUGE hit at parties, and I always get asked for the recipe. The combination of sweet and tangy is just perfect in the sauce! I can also vouch for the fact that even people who do not like sauerkraut, DO like these!
When I make these I actually make about 10 pounds of them at a time, and freeze ahead of the holidays. That makes it very easy to pull a bag out of the freezer and have them done in no time!
I did spice up the original meatball recipe a bit, and I find that I really like the added spice with the sweet and tangy sauce.
Add all the seasonings to the meat.
And mix. Sadly I have not found a better way to mix than by hand, and yes it grosses me out too.
And freeze. These can be frozen in bulk, like this, or you can make the meatballs and freeze them that way. Either way they still turn out great.
Add sauce ingredients to slow cooker (do include the juice in the sauerkraut) and mix. I put a couple of tablespoons in the chili sauce bottle and swish it around to get all the chili sauce out, and add that.
Set the slow cooker to low and stir the sauce.
Form the meatballs, and bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 16-22 minutes until cooked through. The time is going to depend on the size of the meatballs. I make these rather small since they’re typically for appetizers.
Add the baked meatballs to the sauce and stir. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for as long as you like. These hold really well!
Every year!! Try them, you won’t be disappointed!
- Crock Pot
For the meatballs
- 2 lbs ground beef
- ½ cup bread crumbs seasoned
- ¼ cup water
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons dried minced onions
- 2 tablespoon milk powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon beef bullion powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Dash Maggi liquid seasoning
For the sauce
- 1 15 ounce can whole cranberry cranberry sauce
- 1 15 ounce can sauerkraut
- 1 12 ounce jar chili sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- Just a bit of water
- Blend water, egg, milk powder, spices, and bullion until homogeneous. Add to ground beef, dried onions, and bread crumbs and mix all well. Freeze until ready to make cranberry meatballs.
- Defrost and form into 1 inch meatballs (or your preferred size). Bake in preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven until 165 degrees in center (should be about 14 minutes for this size but could be longer if yours are larger). At this point the meatballs can be refrigerated or frozen for use later.
For the sauce and finish
- In crockpot combine cranberries, chili sauce, brown sugar, sauerkraut (with juice) and just enough water to get the remainder of the chili sauce out of the bottle. Mix ingredients together and add meatballs. I will usually start this early if the meatballs are still cold from the refrigerator. Cook on high heat until cooked through, usually about 4 hours if the meatballs are cold.