Diane’s Meatballs

August 22, 2017

One of my mom’s best friend is a real cook. Everything Diane makes is magic and there is always enough for an army. Her children are my age, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that we all grew up together, and that my family would go to their place at least once a week.
As I aged, I became more and more aware of what I was eating and could enjoy all the meals she would cook us. The best memories I have over there, other than the food itself, are of the people that would gather in that house. There was a lot of birthday parties and Christmas where tons of family and friends would be invited, and the more intimate and casual Saturday nights where it would usually be less crowded and more prone to kids and adult hanging around the table sharing meals and drinks laughing and talking loudly.
As much as I like those Saturdays, my favourite happening is still the Superbowl Sunday. Or as I call it, my favourite holiday.
There is nothing better than sitting around the living room, eating Superbowl food-yes, it does require special food for the event-, shouting at our favourite team and having friendly bet on the game. It’s no wonder I learned to like football on one of those night, more specifically the Patriots became my team on Superbowl 2008 night, even if they lost to the Giants.

Back to the food, Superbowl food for us is a table full of bites, cocktail party style. There’s of course the good’ol chicken wings, the most tasty fennel pretzels and my favourite of all times: Diane’s Special Meat balls. We’ve seen them on other events where we would have a Cocktail Dinatoîre for dinner, but for some reason the Superbowl ones are always special.
Those meatballs are simply the best ever. They are sweet, cheesy and just a bit crispy. Years went by before I finally got old and mature enough to think about doing that recipe myself.
In 2013, Diane sent me the recipe by email, but it wasn’t until this week that I made them. Why? I sincerely think I filed it in my email box and forgot about doing it.

What are they made of?! Simplicity and rapidity of course! Okay, beside being super quick and even easier to do, they are made of beef, cheese and garlic. The sauce is made of ketchup (I don’t like using premade ingredients, but the spices in the Heinz Ketchup really give something to the recipe), brown sugar and Whisky. Oh yes, WHISKY. If you are worried about giving alcohol to your kids, don’t be with this recipe: the spirit cooks enough that the alcohol totally evaporates. Sad, but good for children.

I didn’t get around taking pictures when I did that recipe, but next time I’ll sure do!

The method is quite simple, mix beef, parmesan and garlic in one bowl, and when homogeneous, make small balls. I like it real small -like an inch- because they are easier to scoff down. Line the meatballs on a baking tray line with baking paper and put in the oven at 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 for 10-15 minutes.

Next on to the sauce, in a saucepan mix ketchup, whisky and brown sugar over medium heat, bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

When the meatballs are ready, put the ones you want to eat now, or all, in the sauce and you can freeze the ‘un-sauced’ ones. Simmer the meatballs in the sauce for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Yumm, yum, yum, that’s all I can think about. Best description ever, I know.

I tried to serve them as dinner as a main last time but couldn’t come up with fitting sides… any thoughts on the subject?

Otherwise, save the recipe for your next canapés party!

À plus,



Print Recipe
Diane's Meatballs
Sweet and sour meatballs.
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20-25 Minutes
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20-25 Minutes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, add all the sauce ingredients, bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients and then shape into 1/2-inch balls. Line the balls on the lined baking tray and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Do not over cook.
  4. Add the meatballs to the sauce pan and toss them around to cover. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

The meatballs can be frozen without the sauce if needed.

By Lea Tess

Right after graduating from a Arts & Science Bachelor in 2015, I took the first plane to China with my partner. Since then, we have visited many countries, lived in Australia and, currently, in New Zealand. I am passionate about food and making memories!

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