Gingerbread Spiced Meatballs with Onion Ale Gravy

Time for November Crazy Ingredient Challenge

The theme for this month was gingerbread spice and onions. Tricky. The combo had me tripped up for awhile trying to decide what to make. I ultimately decided on meatballs and  gravy.  I kept very light on the spice because I did not want to meatballs to taste too much like the Christmas cookie.  Thankfully the recipe came together nicely and the gravy was delicious with the slight bitter taste from the ale.  Ron was not a big fan of this recipe, but he can be a traditionalist about certain meals.  I found the recipe to be good and different (not in a negative way).  Our host Jutta of Hungry Little Girl  offered two recipes for gingerbread spice, one American style and one German Style.  I opted to use the American style because I do not care for anise. The flavors felt festive to me. I am sure that sounds strange, but I associate gingerbread with the holidays and it is always a warm and cozy taste and smell. 

I love this challenge because the ingredients are challenging, but it is a lot of fun!  I can't wait to find out what the December ingredients are! 


1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 Tbl sour cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1/3 cup flour
2 cups beef stock
1 cup Beer (I used an Ale)
12 oz egg noodles


By hand, gently mix beef, bread crumbs, sour cream, egg and spices.  Form into 1 1/2 inch meat balls. Allow them to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. 

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown meatballs on all sides. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Add onions to pot, stir often and cook till tender. Add flour to onions and stir to coat evenly.  Slowly whisk beef stock into onions. Bring to a slow simmer and add beer.  Simmer 2 minutes and add meatballs. Cover and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes. 

Serve over egg noodles. 

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