I think it's ironic that all the years I worked I didn't even own a crockpot. While I still don't use one more than once a month, if that, I'm always on the lookout for healthy recipes I can prepare early in the day. The advantage is that I get most of the clean up done early, I have the whole day to do whatever, and dinner is ready (and usually includes leftovers) at whatever time I choose.
I saw a recipe for these meatballs on Skinnytaste, a blog I follow whose recipes have always been reliable. I knew right off the bat that I would make these in a crockpot--not an instant pot since I don't have one--and that I would double the recipe and freeze a meal for next week. In reviewing the recipe, I also decided not to fry the meatballs, but to bake them, and to add some Mexican crema and cornstarch at the end to make a gravy as opposed to a watery au jus. I made a few other small tweaks from the original recipe.
Here follows the recipe I used with my adaptations:
2 tsp oil
1 cup minced Vidalia onion
1 lb each 93% lean ground beef and turkey
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tbs tomato paste, divided
ground black pepper
2 tbs all purpose flour
1 tbs red wine vinegar (don't skimp; this really makes a difference in taste)
1 tbs plus 1 tsp Worcesteshire sauce
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
10-12 oz sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1 tbs corn starch
2 tbs crema or sour cream
chopped parsley (for garnish)
Finely chop 2 oz of the mushrooms and set aside.
In a nonstick skillet, add the oil and saute the onions until golden brown. Divide in two.
In a large bowl combine half the sauteed onions with the ground beef, ground turkey, chopped mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, 2 tbs tomato paste, 1/2 cup beef broth, 1 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl blend flour and 2 cups of broth until smooth. Mix in other half of sauteed onions, remaining 2 tbs tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.
Gently shape into 40 small meatballs.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake meatballs 10 minutes. Turn over and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Place meatballs in crock pot. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then pour the sauce over all. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Mix the cornstarch and crema with 1/3 cup of the sauce. Pour slowly back into crockpot, stir, and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve over rice or noodles.
Makes 8 servings (5 meatballs per serving for 6 SP)
I was pleased with this dish. I'd thought the 5 meatballs would be a skimpy serving, but with a half cup of rice and some carrots, it was quite filling. I look forward to the leftovers. I would not have enjoyed the dish without thickening the gravy. It was basically a watery beef broth until I made the slurry. It reminded me of Swedish meatballs, but the vinegar and Dijon added an extra dimension.