Baconized Meatballs

Baconzied Meatballs in Dish

Meatballs in gravy are a nice comfort food, so when I saw a recipe for Baconized Meatballs in a hundred-year-old cookbook, I decided to give it a try. Bacon is chopped into small pieces, sauted, and then mixed with ground beef, spices, and other ingredients, and used to make the meatballs.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Baconized Meatballs
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

I was surprised that “meat balls” was written as two words in the old recipe. I updated to the more modern way of spelling and combined into one word: meatballs.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Baconized Meatballs

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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4 slices bacon

1 cup cracker crumbs

1/2 cup hot water

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion salt

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon sage

1/4 allspice

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup cooking oil, shortening, or lard


3 tablespoons flour

2 1/2  cups water

Cut bacon into small pieces, then put in a skillet and sauté until crisp. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl put the cracker crumbs, water, ground beef, egg, salt, pepper onion salt, celery salt, thyme, sage, allspice, and sautéed bacon pieces.  Mix well, and form into meat balls (about 1 inch in diameter).

Put 2 tablespoons of flour on a plate. Roll meatballs in the flour.

Place the cooking oil, shortening, or lard into an overproof skillet and heat until hot.  Drop balls into the hot fat, then gently roll the balls with a fork until all sides are a light brown. Move skillet to oven (preheated to 375° F.), and continue cooking until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked (about 20 minutes).  Remove from oven and put meatballs in serving dish.

Put skillet back on the top of the stove, and reheat using medium heat. To make the gravy, stir the 3 tablespoons flour into the meat juices. Slowly add the water while stirring. Continue stirring until the gravy thickens and is hot and bubbly. Removed from heat, and pour gravy over the meatballs, then serve.

Hundred-Year-Old Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions and Carrots Recipe

On these cold January days, Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots is the classic comfort food. I used a hundred-year-old recipe to make this dish, and it was just as tasty now as it was a century ago.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (February, 1917)
Source: Good Housekeeping (February, 1917)

When, I made this dish, I used a chuck roast instead of soup or stewing meat. Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 pound chuck roast


4 cups small potatoes

2 cups carrots, cut into bit-sized chunks

1 cup onions, sliced

2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons flour

sprigs of parsley or celery leaves (I used celery leaves.)

Put the chuck roast in a dutch oven with 1 cup water; using high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Turn several times while cooking; add additional water as needed.  Add potatoes, onions, carrots, salt, paprika, and 2 cups water. Cook for an additional 40 minutes. Put meat on a serving platter, then put the potatoes on one side of the meat and the carrots on the other. Put onions in a small bowl, and serve on the side.

Put the flour in a small bowl. While stirring constantly, slowly add 1/4 cup of water to make a smooth paste.

Bring the meat broth back to a boil, then stir in the flour slurry. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. The gravy may be poured over the meat and vegetables, or served on the side. Garnish with sprigs of parsley or celery leaves.

Old-Fashioned Beef Loaf

Meat loaf is the ultimate comfort food, so I was thrilled to find a hundred-year-old beef loaf recipe. This recipe is different from modern meatloaf recipes. In addition to ground beef, it contained ripe olives, oatmeal, canned tomatoes, and onion; and brought back memories of some meatloaf recipes served at family reunions when I was a child.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (June, 1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Beef Loaf

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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2 pounds ground beef

3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

12 ripe olives, chopped

1/2 small white onion, chopped

2 cups canned tomatoes (1 one-pound can diced onions)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


meat drippings from pan (approximately 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Shape meatloaf in a 9″ X 13″ or similar-sized baking dish (or put in a large bread pan). Place in oven, and bake until done (approximately 1 hour).

If desired, serve with gravy. To make gravy,  put meat drippings from the baking pan in a small  skillet. Heat to boiling. Sprinkle with flour and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the water while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the gravy thickens, then remove from heat and serve.

Cook’s note: My meatloaf had relatively few drippings which limited the amount of gravy that I could make. I used ground beef that contained very little fat. Ground beef with a higher fat content probably would provide more drippings.

I used less salt than called for in the original recipe. It called for 3 teaspoons of salt. I used 1 teaspoon of salt which seemed like plenty.

Hundred-Year-Old Pork Chops with Dressing Recipe

Pork chops can be a little boring – but add some dressing (stuffing) and an onion slice; and, a mundane meat is transformed into a special dish. The recipe that I used was from a hundred-year-old magazine – but the Pork Chops with Dressing are timeless.

The Pork Chops with Dressing smelled wonderful while baking – and the finished dish did not disappoint. The presentation was lovely, and the dressing was delightful with just the right blend of herbs and onion.

Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1915)
Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1915)

Pork Chops with Dressing

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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5 pork chops

salt and pepper

3 cups coarse bread crumbs (cubes)


1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 egg

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

5 onion slices (from a medium onion)


Preheat oven to 375° F. Place the pork chops into a baking dish or oven-proof pan. (I used a cast iron frying pan.)  Sprinkle each pork chop with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Put the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl, then sprinkle water on the bread crumbs. Add enough water, so that when squeezed, the pieces of bread cling together. Add the chopped onion, melted butter, egg, pepper, poultry seasoning, and salt. Stir to combine. Then divide the dressing into five equal portions Shape each portion into a ball and press together firmly.

Place a ball of dressing on top of each pork chop, then top each with an onion slice. Dot the onion slices with butter. Pour a little water (about 2- 3 tablespoons) into the edge of the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes to an hour.  (Time depends upon thickness of the pork chops.)  If the onion slices start to brown midway through the baking time, flip the onions and dot with additional butter.

Baked Pork Chops with Apples Recipe


Pork chops are a food that I crave in mid-winter, but would seldom think about eating in July. Maybe it brings back vague memories of eating freshly butchered pork in January when I was a child.  When I saw an intriguing recipe in the January, 1916 issue of Good Housekeeping for Baked Pork Chops with Apples, I immediately knew that I wanted to try it. The old magazine featured the recipe–and even included a picture.

Source: Good Housekeeping (January, 1916)

The top of a baked apple showily topped each pork chop for a lovely, yet decidedly old-fashioned, presentation. The pork chops had a nice, slightly crispy, bread crumb coating with sage undertones that blended nicely with the tanginess of the baked apples.

Here’s how I adapted the recipe for modern cooks:

Baked Pork Chops with Apples

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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1/2 cup bread crumbs (fine)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

3 pork chops

3 apples

1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) butter

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and sage. Coat the pork chops with the bread crumb mixture and put in a baking dish or oven-proof skillet. Cut the top 1 1/2 inch off the apples and core. (Reserve the remainder of apple for use in another recipe.) Center a cored apple top on each pork chop; place 1 teaspoon of butter in the center of each apple. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pork chop is thoroughly cooked.

And, here is the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (January, 1916)
Source: Good Housekeeping (January, 1916)