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Barbecued Corn and Meatballs

Subject: Barbecued Corn and Meatballs
From: Jeri
Date: 8/7/2021, 8:48 AM

On 8/6/2021 12:34 PM, Jeri wrote:

I was listening to XM Radio Classics this week and heard an old commercial 
for PET Milk which mentioned a recipe for Barbecued Corn and Meatballs.  
I assumed this would be easy to find on the web, but I have had no luck.  
It sounded like the recipe was distributed in grocery stores rather than in 
a recipe booklet. Can you help?  

Hi Jeri,

It was rather difficult for me to locate a recipe that was not actually published in a Pet Milk recipe booklet, but I believe that I have succeeded, although I was not able to directly trace its provenance.

The first mention of this dish that I found was from "The Pittsburgh Courier" from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 22, 1956. I could not get the article itself, just this Google blurb: "Barbecued Corn and Meat Balls, made from my Pet Evaporated Milk recipe, ...  Another thing I like about this Pet Milk recipe Is the wonderful results .."

However, the next item that I found was this, from the Belleville, New Jersey "Belleville Times", January 5, 1952. It was not an article. It was just called "Recipe of the Week", but it was the oldest item that I could find about the dish, and it actually gave a recipe. Note that it says "Broadcast" and that it calls for Pet Milk by name.

Barbecued Corn and Meat Balls
Broadcast: January 5, 1952

1 lb        ground lean beef
1/2 cup        rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
few grains    pepper
1/2 cup     Pet evaporated milk
2 tablespoons    flour
1 teaspoon    paprika
2 tablespoons    hot fat
1/4 cup     finely cut onion
1/4 cup     bottled barbecue sauce
1 1/4 cups    water
No. 303 can    drained whole kernel corn

Mix beef, oats, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and milk thoroughly.
Dip hands in water, then shape mixture into 8(?) balls. Roll
meat balls in mixture of flour, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Brown in skillet on all sides in hot fat. Add onion and cook
slowly 5 minutes. Stir in mixture of barbecue sauce and water.
Cover and simmer 45 minutes, turning meat balls now and then.
Add corn and heat thoroughly. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Finally, I found a longer item, from "The Camden News" of Camden, New Jersey, August 19, 1954. This recipe is a re-creation of a dish from the Nunda, New York Volunteer Fire Department. The original recipe, from many years before, had been lost and this was an attempt to re-create it. Note that it makes a large quantity.

Barbecued Corn and Meat Balls
(Yield: 50 Servings)

1 3/4 quarts    (Pet) evaporated milk
1 quart     rolled oats
2 teaspoons     monosodium glutamate
3 1/3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon    pepper
9 pounds     ground beef
1 cup        shortening
3 cups        chopped onion
2 cups        chopped green pepper
2 #10 cans    whole kernel corn
1/4 cup     flour
3 tablespoons    dry mustard
1 teaspoon     Tabasco
3 tablespoons     Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 cups    catsup

Pour evaporated milk over rolled oats; let stand 10 minutes.
Add monosodium glutamate, slat and pepper. Blend beef into
oatmeal mixture; shape into balls using No. 20 scoop. Bake in
a very hot oven (500 degrees F.) 15 minutes.

For sauce, melt shortening, add onion and green pepper; cook
until onion is tender. Pour off two cups corn liquid. Add
remaining corn with liquid to onion and pepper mixture; heat
to boiling. Blend together remaining ingredients with reserved
corn liquid. Blend into hot mixture, stirring constantly.
Divide over pans of meatballs. Bake in slow oven (300 degrees F.)
30 minutes.


Thank you so much! I'm sure the "broadcast" one is it. Perhaps it was published 
in newspaper ads rather than distributed in stores. I was expecting a homemade 
sauce, but this is what I was looking for.  --Jeri

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