Delicious meatballs

oats, eggs, evaporated milk

Laue family cookbook, 87pp.
by the Laue family
published in the 1980s
Cooking on page 32

Six Laue brothers came to America from Schuesselburk, Prussia (a small town near Minden Germany).

The brothers arrived in the United States between 1857 and 1865 and some of them settled in central Nebraska, where a town called Minden was established in 1876.

My dear friend, Carol, is a Laue and lives on a farm about 20 miles from Minden. Her relative, Alice Laue, contributed the page-32 recipe that I’ve used here. Alice also compiled the Denim to lace cookbook, including the page-32 artichoke dip I made more than four years ago.

Delicious meatballs

Delicious meatballs

3 lbs. ground beef
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 c. quick oatmeal
2 eggs

2 c. catsup
2 c. brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. each garlic salt, pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder, if desired
1 tsp. liquid smoke, if desired

meatball ingredients mixing meatballs sauce for meatballs six meatballs with sauce

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine ground beef with other ingredients and form into small balls. Spread in a single layer in 11 x 15-inch baking pan. May be made early in day and refrigerated. Combine sauce ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Pour over meatballs. Bake 1 hour. Serves 12.

How it played out
There were just the two of us tonight so I made a third of a batch, with a few adjustments.

I didn’t have quick oats so used rolled oats that I soaked for 20 minutes with the evaporated milk and 1 egg. I then added 500 grams (about a pound) of meat. I used lamb because that’s what I had.

For the sauce I used 2/3 cup of catsup, 1/2 a chopped onion, 1/3 cup brown sugar (a reduction), 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of water and 2 chopped fresh chillies from the garden. Had no garlic salt or liquid smoke on hand, so added 1 crushed clove of garlic. Liquid smoke isn’t easy to find in Australia, so I left it out.

The meat mixture was rather messy to work with so I shaped it into 6 large balls and poured over the sauce.

The recipe’s title is rightfully earned. These meatballs are absolutely delicious. That said, I’m glad I cut way back on the sugar. Catsup is already quite sweet. The water and Worcestershire sauce were also good additions, and made a sauce with a great consistency.

Laue Family cookbook

They made for a great dinner served with potato wedges and a green salad. Between us, Poor John and I ate three of the meatballs, so there were three more for leftovers. Yum, yum!

A few years back we visited Carol (I found this cookbook on one of her bookshelves) and other friends who live in Minden, Nebraska. Our sightseeing included a stop at the town’s gorgeous refurbished opera house.


About leggypeggy

Intrepid overland traveller, keen photographer, avid cook—known to jump out of airplanes and do other silly things. Do not act my age.
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19 Responses to Delicious meatballs

  1. One word Peggy? YUM!

  2. Opera House is stunning!
    Meatballs: never eaten this version but I must try. I’m intrigued with the sauce 😛

  3. Sounds a tiny bit spicy and a big bit yummy.

  4. Yvonne says:

    That’s such a good tip about soaking regular rolled oats to substitute for the quick variety.

  5. Laurie says:

    YUM! We love meatballs and I’ll be making these for sure!

  6. Janeene says:

    Gonna give these a go tonight!

  7. Sheryl says:

    The meatballs sound delicious. Family and community cookbooks have some of the best recipes.

  8. Ken Berry says:

    Peggy suggested I post this here. The original comment appeared on Facebook.

    I just made — and ate — some of these for dinner tonight. No question at all that the sauce is really delicious, though I took your advice and really cut back on the sugar. I too used only 500 gm of minced meat — in this case prime beef. I even used quick Oats (Sanitarium) and think that might have made the mixture more manageable when shaping the meatballs. (I also remembered that it is best to have wet hands when shaping meatballs for a mixture like that.)

    For the sauce I used all the recipe ingredients, apart from the garlic salt, though like Peggy I used real garlic (in my case two cloves). I also included Worcestershire sauce, but included both my suggested pimenton (1 heaped teaspoon) and 1 teaspoon of Hickory liquid smoke in addition to everything else, even though that amount was specified for the original total.

    I totally agree that the amount of sugar is way over the top and though I used what Peggy used (1/3 cup brown sugar), I would agree that even that was a bit too much: 1/4 cup might be a bit better. Though I didn’t use garlic salt, I also added about 1/2 tspn ordinary salt since I noticed Peggy had not added any.

    Since I was not sure about what the sauce was for — just a mild covering, or to ‘drown’ the meatballs while baking — I opted for the latter and added probably about 1.5 glasses of water to everything.

    In all the mixture made 12 good sized meatballs (around 2 inch diameter) and the sauce came up to about 3/4 the height in the casserole I put them in before going in the oven. After half the time in the oven, I turned over each meatball, so they were all equally covered in sauce and well baked. The sauce had thickened considerably and became just a good baste for the meatballs when served.

    As I say, the result was delicious, but I have to say that the meatballs themselves were virtually tasteless without the sauce. And I have to add I am really not surprised by that given their rather bland ingredients. Mind you, I will happily eat the remaining 8 meatballs in coming nights, despite the pleading looks from my 3 pups!!!

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