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Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
A childhood favorite, whenever Mom made these meatballs they'd disappear quickly off the dinner table!
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 cup soft breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Vegetables - this is important for the flavor and sauce
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, minced
- 1 carrot, thinely sliced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups tomato juice or 2 cups V8 vegetable juice
- Mix beef, applesauce, and bread crumbs.
- Add eggs; season with salt and pepper.
- Shape into small balls, roll in flour and brown in hot oil.
- Place balls in a casserole dish.
- To drippings in pan add vegetables and tomato juice.
- Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then pour over meat balls (this is an important step).
- Cover and bake in a moderate oven of 350 degrees for about an hour, until vegetables have broken down and have created a nice sauce.
- If desired, the gravy can be thickened with a little flour-water paste before serving.
This was so good. My whole family enjoyed it. I waited until after dinner to tell them it had applesauce in it. My kids looked at me kinda funny then! I even made sandwiches with the leftovers for my husband and me to take to work the next day. I'll definitely be making this recipe again!
This sounded intriguing, so I just had to try it. And I'm glad I did I did make a couple of adjustments, though. I'm trying to eat lower fat and lower sodium foods, so I substituted ground turkey breast for the beef and used lower sodium tomato juice rather than V-8 juice and used olive oil rather than vegetable oil. BF wasn't too sure about this when he saw me put the applesauce in but, in the end, he gave it a high rating. It was good using the turkey, so I can imagine how good it would be using beef. The liquid cooked down quite a bit when I baked it. I'm not sure if the turkey absorbed some if it -- that's possible. We both felt it could have used more of the sauce, so next time I will make another batch of the sauce and just let it simmer on the stove so we can put more sauce over the meatballs. All in all, we really enjoyed this, and we'll definitely be making this one again -- and I'll be sure to try it with the beef, too! Thank you for sharing a recipe from your childhood!