Easy Crock Pot Meatballs

You’ll Need:

For the Meatballs
½ cup Progresso Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 eggs
¼ cup water
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb ground beef 80/20 (more fat makes a softer better tasting meatball)
½ lb ground pork
For the Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large onion cut in quarters
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 – 24oz jars of spaghetti sauce – whichever brand you prefer
1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes – I use a Whole Foods organic Marzano tomatoes
½ cup beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons brown sugar – sugar cuts acidity and brings out the fullness of the tomato flavor
fresh basil – I use 3 leafs

Directions:

To prepare the meatballs
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Mix bread crumbs, egg, water, cheese, parsley and spices together to form a soft paste like consistency.

3) Fold in ground beef and pork, turning to mix paste into meat. Do not over mix as you’ll toughen the meat.

4) Shape into meatballs (small or large) and place on cookie sheet & bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes – turn meatballs over and cook on other side for another 8 minutes. Remove to rack. No need to overcook as they’ll to in the crock pot.

*optional step recommended by Paula is to let the shaped meatballs chill overnight before cooking them. It can help to prevent them from breaking apart during the cooking process.

To prepare the sauce
1) In sauce pan melt butter and oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until they’re translucent, stirring frequently as to not letting them brown (about 3-5 minutes).

2) Add minced garlic and let cook until just fragrant, not letting it burn (about 1 minute).

3) Add the 2 jars of sauce, can of crushed tomatoes, beef broth and all spices except the fresh basil and bring to a slow boil over medium heat.

4) Layer sauce and meatballs by adding a couple spoons of sauce to crock pot bottom, then add 1/2 of the cooked meatballs, then more sauce and then the rest of the meatballs, covering with the remaining sauce.

5) Cook on low for 5 hours. About 1 hour before they’re done, add fresh basil.

Source: http://chefrecip.es/recipe/easy-crock-pot-meatballs/