Monday, February 16, 2015

Tender and Juicy Slow-Cooker Meatballs

My range, and oven were doing double duty as I prepared the meals for the week, so I had to rely on my trusty crock pot to cook the  meatballs.
 And the following recipe I found are true is true to its name. The meat balls were tasty and tender. Highly recommend the recipe when you want to wow your dinner guests. I used the meatballs in a recipe for spaghetti with meatballs. The remaining I froze to add to a different dish.

Tender and Juicy Slow-Cooker Meatballs

YIELD:Serves 4 to 6

TOTAL TIME: 7 to 11 hours
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:stand mixer, slow cooker


3 slices white bread, crusts removed, roughly torn

1/3 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
1 large onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
12 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for serving
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, minced
4 teaspoons kosher salt (18 grams)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
1 pound ground beef (at least 25% fat)
1 1/4 pounds ground pork (at least 25% fat)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh basil
Cooked pasta, for serving


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine bread with buttermilk, tossing to coat. Let stand, tossing occasionally, until bread is completely moist, about 10 minutes. Squeeze bread between your fingers or mash with a spoon to make sure there are no dry spots. Add half of onion, 8 cloves of minced garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, salt, pepper, egg, and half of oregano to bread/buttermilk mixture.

Set mixer bowl in stand mixer and attach paddle. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, beat bread mixture until thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. Add 1/3 each of the beef and pork and beat at medium-high speed until thoroughly blended with bread mixture.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and add remaining beef and pork. Using a clean hand, gently mix meatball mixture, teasing apart ground meat with your fingers, just until ground beef and pork and thoroughly distributed throughout; avoid mixing any more than is necessary for even distribution.

Preheat broiler and set oven rack in upper position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside 6 ounces of meatball mixture. Form remaining meatball mixture into golfball-sized balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet; you should be able to make about 16. Broil meatballs until browned on top, about 7 minutes (browning times can vary dramatically, depending on oven broiler strength). Transfer meatballs to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining meat mixture and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add remaining onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add remaining oregano and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season with salt.

Transfer tomato sauce and basil sprig to slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6 to 10 hours. Gently fold meatballs into mixture for last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve with pasta and Parmesan cheese

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