Tender and Juicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Tender and Juicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

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  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • 3

    slices white bread, crusts removed, roughly torn

  • cup buttermilk, plus more as needed

  • 1

    large onion, minced (about 1½ cups), divided

  • 12

    cloves garlic, finely minced, divided

  • 2

    ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for serving

  • ½

    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)

  • pounds ground pork (at least 25% fat)

  • ¼

    cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3

    (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand

  • ½

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1

    sprig fresh basil

  • Cooked pasta, for serving

Directions

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.


Nutrition

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