I don’t know who passed this recipe on to mom, but it has been made by mom and me for years —as far back as i can remember. It is a savory, satisfying meatball and kraut dish, and the “sauer” is tempered a little by the tomato component. The recipe can easily be doubled, and it freezes well (if there are any leftovers!)
For the ground pork, i just use Jimmy Dean or Bob Evans mild sausage (in the tube). They are very lean, so take that into consideration in the fat content of your ground beef. Usually, I just skip the veal, and use 1 # beef and 1/2 # pork sausage, as noted. Mom loves to use the Winn-Dixie brand of ground pork sausage.
Yield, about 26 medium meatballs (plenty for 6-8 “normal folks”, depending on appetites). I make them a little larger than a golfball. I like the surface-to-inside meatball ratio for the sauce “soak-in” factor.
Cooking tip: when “browning” the meatballs, do NOT let a crust form; turn them (VERY GENTLY) often so they cook all round the outside evenly, and maybe 50% inside, but not all the way through. They will be more tender that way, and retain enough fat and juices to really flavor the kraut. Mom is a jayhawk when I’m cooking the meatballs so that I don’t over-brown or let the crust form! ;-)
Note that the kraut will be moist, not soupy.
Traditionally served with boiled, skinned white potatoes, with Hellman’s mayonnaise on the side (though mom likes Duke’s). I also like it with good cold pilsner or lager! ;-) UPDATE: I am now a Duke’s gal!
This dish freezes very well.