Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs Are Sweet, Savory and Ready to Party

Monday, May 20, was the birthday of none other than Cher. This year, the Goddess of Pop turned 78—yup, we can't "Believe" it either! As a huge fan, I took Cher's birthday as an excuse to reflect on why I'm infatuated with the world's Queen of Camp, but there are simply too many things to list off. If I had to choose just a few, it's her hit songs that transcend genres and decades, her memorable movie performances, her unreal fashion sense and her high-profile romantic endeavors. And finally, I'd call out our shared love of food.

When I uncovered Cher's recipe for Hawaiian meatballs, it felt like kismet. A little bit sweet, a little bit savory and all in on the meaty flavor? The dish sounded like a multi-hyphenate superstar (kind of like Cher)! I knew I had to make it, so I grabbed the ingredients and gave it a try.

Get the recipe: Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs American Style

Ingredients for Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs

For these meatballs, you'll need ground beef, ginger, onion, green pepper, soy sauce, milk, egg, breadcrumbs, white vinegar, brown sugar, shortening, salt, pineapple tidbits and cornstarch.

Related: Cher's 'Boyfriend Approved' Pasta Salad is Easy, Creamy and Crowd-Pleasing

Ingredients for Cher's Meatballs<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Cher's Meatballs

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

How to Make Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs

Begin by mixing the ground beef, ginger, onion, milk, egg and breadcrumbs along with a bit of salt in a bowl and form into balls. Heat the shortening in a frying pan, add in the meatballs and cook until browned. Remove and stick in an oven on low heat while you make the sauce.

Begin by draining the fat from the pan. In a bowl, combine your brown sugar and cornstarch and whisk to combine. Add the vinegar and soy sauce and the reserved syrup from the can of pineapple. Pour the pineapple syrup into the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the meatballs back into the pan along with the green pepper and pineapple tidbits. Serve them up.

Related: The Korean Trick for the Crispiest, Crunchiest Chicken Wings

<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

What I Thought of Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs

Like many vintage recipes (Jello salad, anyone?), this one didn't look very pretty. But unlike many vintage recipes, Cher's meatballs tasted pretty darn good.

The meatballs themselves were browned and juicy. Combined with the sweet, Hawaiian-inspired sauce, the meatball dish offered up a tasty mix of sweet, salty, tangy and umami—due to the lengthy ingredient list—along with a serious zing from the ginger. I would definitely make these again, but next time I'll serve them over some buttered egg noodles or rice for a complete meal. I might even experiment with fresh pineapple instead of canned.

Related: Cher's Mom's Cheesecake Is Impressively Easy

Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs American Style<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs American Style

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Tips for Making Cher's Hawaiian Meatballs

  1. Reduce the salt. Cher's recipe uses a hefty two tablespoons of salt, which made them flavorful, but a tad too salty in my opinion.

  2. Make them party-sized. My grandmother was onto something when she put out a Crock-Pot full of Swedish meatballs alongside some toothpicks at holiday gatherings. They were fun, they were sweet and they were poppable. Don't make these meatballs full-sized; they're much better suited as toothpick appetizers.

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