Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs




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apple butter brandy meatballs in a small copper skillet

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs, the name tells you all you need to know.  These luscious meatballs are smothered in a sweet and tangy apple butter brandy sauce that will bring you to your knees.  Technically for the cocktail hour, no one will complain if you serve them for dinner.

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs in a skillet

While these might technically be considered ‘cocktail’ meatballs, I purposely didn’t put that in the title, I didn’t want to discourage anyone from making a dinner out of them, because that’s what we did (two nights in a row :)

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs in a skillet

There’s no second fiddle ingredient in this apple butter brandy meatballs ~  the soft plush meatballs infused with finely minced fresh sage hold their own in that awesome sauce.  The apple butter and brandy flavors come through strong, as does the tang from the bbq sauce.  It’s rich, complex, and delicious.

apple butter brandy meatballs ready to go into the oven

I use an interesting technique to cook my meatballs, after forming them I put them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes first, then I add them to a hot skillet to brown them, keeping the pan moving often, so they stay nice and round.  No more flat sided meatballs!

Cooking meatballs for Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs

Apple butter brandy meatballs cooking in a skillet with a spoon

Apple butter is such a wonderful ingredient to cook with in the fall.  Most of us have spread it on toast, or baked it up in bread, but don’t count it out of savory recipes like this one, too.  The flavor is rich and spicy, and not too sweet.   Look for it in the jam or peanut butter section of your supermarket, most stores will stock it.  You can make your own quite easily, too.  I have a recipe for a quick One Hour No Sugar Apple Butter, but that one has no spices added to it.  I also make a delicious Cranberry Apple Butter, which would be an interesting variation in this meatball recipe.

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs in a skillet with a cocktail fork

tvfgi recommends: stainless steel cocktail forks


Of course you can use toothpicks to serve your meatballs, but I also love these inexpensive stainless steel cocktail or ‘tasting’ forks.  They’re reusable and make such a nice presentation.  They comes in lots of different versions, including plastic, but I prefer the stainless steel.  You’ll use them year after year.

If you’ve inherited a complete set of flatware you might already have some tiny vintage forks in your collection, they were used for butter, pickles, fish, dessert, etc.  I have a mix-matched set that I’ve gathered from thrift stores.

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs
Rate this recipe
6 ratings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: appetizer, main course

Cuisine: American

Yield: makes 4 dozen + meatballs

Serving Size: 2 meatballs

Calories per serving: 106

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs, the name tells you all you need to know. These luscious meatballs are smothered in a sweet and tangy apple butter brandy sauce that will bring you to your knees. Technically for the cocktail hour, no one will complain if you serve them for dinner.

Ingredients

    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
    sauce
  • 1 and 2/3 cups 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Notes

This recipe is not suitable for kids. Even though much of the alcohol will cook off, some will remain. Reduce the amount of brandy if you like.

Can’t get enough meatballs?  Try these ~

 

Trust me, you’re going to want these apple butter brandy meatballs during the holidays, so don’t forget to pin them!

Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs, the name tells you all you need to know.  These luscious meatballs are smothered in a sweet and tangy apple butter brandy sauce and can be an appetizer or dinner! #recipe #easy #beef #pork #appetizer #dinner #brandy #applebutter #holiday #christmas #thanksgiving #cocktailmeatballs

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Leave a Reply

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda
    November 28, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Sue. We are truly enjoying your recipes, reading them and eating the delicious results!
    Could you please tell me what Brandy you like to use for your Apple Butter Brandy Meatballs? Thank you so much.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 29, 2018 at 6:45 am

      I usually use a cheaper brand when I cook with something like brandy, I think I used The Christian Brothers. But if I had something better sitting around I would totally use it :)

  • Reply
    Jeff the Chef
    September 29, 2018 at 2:20 am

    You’d get no complaint from me if you served these for dinner two nights in a row! They sound incredible. Like you mention, I’ve had apple butter on toast many a-time. It was one of my mom’s favorite things to make for us on a Saturday morning when I was a cartoon-watching kid. But I’ve never cooked with it! Sounds like fun.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 29, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Munching on apple butter toast while watching cartoons…those were the days!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    September 28, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    What a fabulous combination of flavor. A must try soon.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Thanks Lee Ann!

  • Reply
    Pat
    September 28, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Since each state has their own individual BBQ which one did you use in your given recipe today?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      In the particular case I had Rufus Teague Whiskey Maple, only because that was what my husband came back from the grocery store with ;)

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    September 28, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Sue, lately I’ve been unable to pin your recipes to my Pin account. I seem able to pin from every other site so I’m wondering if there’s a problem with your particular site. Has anyone else had this difficulty?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2018 at 9:09 am

      What happens when you try to pin Carolyn? Are you using the pin button on an image? Or the buttons at the top and bottom of the post?

  • Reply
    Lori K.
    September 28, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Interesting recipe! The blog mentions “finely minced sage” in the meatballs, but I don’t see it listed anywhere in the ingredients or directions.. How much should be used, please? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Lori, I fixed that.

  • Reply
    Tricia
    September 28, 2018 at 5:11 am

    You have a way with meatballs Sue! Luscious is the right description and I think I need to have a party just for an excuse to make these. So easy to pop in your mouth I’m sure. Happy Friday!

  • Reply
    angiesrecipes
    September 28, 2018 at 3:00 am

    o yeah..the name says it all. They look droolworthy.

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