Cheese filled meatballs with a colorful hue

By Jim Bailey

Smoky melted cheese oozing from the inside of a superior-spiced meatball; and all this with a punch of blueberry and hot peppers.

These “Purple Cow” meatballs will outshine the popular grape jelly meatballs without the jolt of sugar-loaded jelly.

How did these get their name? The glaze is on the dark purple side, color-wise, and the Purple Cow was a restaurant started by my late Uncle Stanley Demuth. He was truly an inspiration to me growing up and he would have devoured these tasty meatballs, as will you.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs, plain
2 eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup spicy salsa
Salt and black pepper to taste
4-8 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, cut into 15-20 squares

Purple Cow Glaze:
1(11.5-ounce)jar jalapeno pepper jelly
1(18-ounce)jar chili or barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon honey mustard
1 small, tart apple

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Coat a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are evenly blended. Divide into 15-20 meatballs.

Press your thumb into one meatball and insert cheese square. Form the meat mixture until cheese is completely covered evenly, pressing firmly all around.

Place on prepared pan and repeat with remaining meatballs and cheese, leaving an inch between each. I highly recommend making sure you have at least a 1/2-inch of ground beef coating the cheese; because of the fat content, the meat will shrink but the cheese will not.

Bake 15-25 minutes (according to the size of meatballs), or until meatballs are cooked through.

Meanwhile make glaze by placing jelly, chili sauce and mustard in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and bring to scalding. Reduce heat to low and stir frequently until meatballs are ready.

Remove meatballs from oven, drain well and transfer to saucepan containing Purple Cow Glaze. Gently stir and “cook” while preparing garnish.

Halve, core and cut apple into small bites, enough for every meatball.
To serve, skewer apple with long toothpick, followed by a meatball. Place on serving dish, repeating with remaining meatballs.

Serve while hot.

FYI: These meatballs should be on the wet side. A good school of thought is the wetter a stuffed meatball mixture is,  the less likely they will be to crack open, spilling the cheesy center. Also, I would like to add that most jelly-coated meatballs are cooked in a crockpot or slow cooker. If desired, simmer your cooked meatballs in one for an hour or so. But the same effect is found using the above instructions.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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