Evelyn’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs


My mother, Evelyn, is a very good cook, but since I started writing cookery books, she prefers to come round to my house and raid my fridge. She and I are very close and I always value her opinion on new recipes that I create. I know when family recipes are good because it soon goes missing.
These sweet and sour meatballs were whisked off to her house in no time – they are delicious served on a bed of rice.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
10 minutes
22 minutes
Best for
Suitable for freezing


  • 450g lean minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 chicken stock cube, finely crumbled
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g chopped red pepper
  • 1 X 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Conversion chart


  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs and chop for a few seconds in a food processor.
  2. Using floured hands, form into about 20 meatballs. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the meatballs, turning occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes, until browned and sealed.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, mix together the soy sauce and cornflour in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar, season with freshly ground black pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the soy sauce mix and pineapple juice.
  7. Pour the sauce over the meatballs, cover and simmer until cooked through (about 5 minutes).


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  • Both my 10 month and 3 year old loved this and their fussy Dad too! But we all thought it’d be better with pasta as the sauce is quite tomatoey and so doesn’t seem to go that well with the rice.

    28 Feb 2009

  • Me and my 2 year old son loved this dish, our favourite thanks you mmmmm

    30 Dec 2008

  • We LOVE this recipe.  It takes a bit of prep but is well worth it.  Very tasty.  Never any left!

    01 Oct 2008

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