Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs

by Thea Miller

Recipe adapted from View from Great Island 

Makes 4 dozen meatballs


1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 medium onion finely minced
1 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 tsp each salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 Tbsp finely minced fresh sage
1 jar Brennan's Apple Butter
3/4 cup barbecue sauce bottled
1 cup brandy
1 cup water
4 Tbsp chili sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar optional
1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350F
Mix the meatball ingredients together gently but thoroughly. I like to use my stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, but you can do it by hand, as well. Make sure everything is evenly incorporated into the meat before forming your balls.
Use a tablespoon or small scoop to portion out the meatballs. You can them to be cocktail, or bite, sized. I use a rounded tablespoon for each ball. Roll them between your palms until they are smooth and round. Set them on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
To make the sauce, add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and heat, stirring to combine, until the sauce comes to a boil. Lower the heat and let it boil gently for about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients or seasonings.

Meanwhile heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large skillet. After removing the meatballs from the oven, brown them, in batches, in the skillet. Cook, turning often, for about 5-7 minutes, or until done inside The internal temperature should reach 155F (the meatballs will continue cooking in the sauce.)
Combine the meatballs and the sauce together and bring up to a gentle simmer. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes to heat everything through.
Serve hot with toothpicks or cocktail forks. If you like you can load everything into a crock pot set on warm and serve from there.