Well, it’s… um… it’s pork and Raisin Bran balls, is what it is.
A version without the breakfast cereal made the rounds in the late 1940s, like this Spam-friendly version from the October 7, 1948 edition of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin:
Glazed Spiced Ham Balls
Grind luncheon meat. Combine with rolled oats, egg, milk, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Mix until thoroughly blended. Chill. Shape into small balls and place in shallow baking pan. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 30 minutes.
But the earliest mention that incorporates Raisin Bran that I’ve been able to find is from the April 6, 1970 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press:
Barbara Maas, Barrin Avenue, West Kildonan, is one of the 25 finalists in the national cooking-with-cereals contest sponsored by Kellogg.
She adapted her mother’s meatball recipe to create her winning entry, Glazed Ham and Raisin Balls. Her recipe uses Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal.
Prizes in the Canadian Cereal Cookerama contest total $25,000. Five all-expense paid vacations to Nassau, 10 color television sets, and 10 dishwashers will be awarded. Each of the 25 finalists will win a prize.
Later stories confirm it did not win or place beyond that in the 1970 cookoff, losing to recipes such as a bran-topped salmon casserole, bran gingerbread, and a peanut butter and bran roll (a center of peanut butter with molasses-bound bran cereal rolled around it, cut into slices). (There were multiple categories, so it’s hard to say who “won,” because there were five winners.)
From the box of J.L. from Westborough, Massachusetts.
Glazed Ham Raisin Balls
1/2 lb. ground cooked ham
1/2 lb. ground fresh pork
1 (6 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 cup raisin bran flakes
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
salt, pepper, thyme
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Thoroughly mix ham, pork, milk, cereal, egg, onion, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Shape into balls.
Bake uncovered in 350 deg. oven–30 minutes.
In saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, vinegar and dry mustard–bring to boil.
Pour over ham balls–baste with sauce once or twice.