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Laura’s New Favorite New Year’s Appetizer — Beer-Braised Meatballs

An old listener from my Albany radio days has a new blog that I follow, and when I saw this recipe come across my feed, I couldn’t help but try it out!

Erin Landers took some creative license with the recipe originally featured in a new cookbook “Cooking With Beer“. The slightly sweet sauce has depth of flavor and is reminiscent of the Polish/German “saurbraten” balls.

My OWN changes were:

1.) I made them with ground turkey instead of ground beef.

2.) Instead of brown sugar, I used a 1/2 cup of Truvia and a 1/2 tablespoon of organic molasses.

3.) I added a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of zip.

That’s what makes cooking so fun to me! Add a little, take a little away, and make it your own!

My other suggestion would be to use these as cocktail meatballs! Just make them smaller than the entree-sized one, and serve them with toothpicks as they simmer in the sauce in a crock pot!


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
butter or cooking spray for greasing
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; grease the lined pan. Form 1-inch meatballs from meat mixture and arrange on pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until browned.

Meanwhile, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan. Transfer meatballs to the sauce mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Serve with pasta.

Adapted from Cooking with Beer Cookbook

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