Saturday, September 5, 2009

Crockpot Meatballs

Okay so apparently I'm not adventurous and trying new recipes. July? Really? no posts for a month? ah well... it's coming to be my favorite time of the year. Football season! And along with that crisp weather, light sweaters, tailgating, and homey, warm, comforting, foods.

I'll start this glorious Football Saturday off with one of my most requested tailgate/party recipes. We are headed to a party at noon and I was requested to bring the Buffalo Chicken Dip by the wife, and then told NO WAY! I had to bring my meatballs by the husband. Well, to appease both (and compensate for the fact they are having KEGS! at their party and we don't have to BYOB- I feel like I'm in college again :) ) I made both. I have already shared the Buffalo Chicken Recipe with you. Go ahead, check it out. I'll wait.

But now I'll share the meatballs with you. It's a no-fail recipe. Easiest thing ever, and only uses 3 ingredients! Do I have your attention? Good. Let's get started.

Ingredients (this is for a large batch, if not going to a party or for a smaller group just adjust)

64 oz Frozen Meatballs. I've used original and italian and our fav and go to now is Farm Rich Original Meatballs. I large bag or 2 small. I've even done 2 small- 1 original and 1 italian.

Bottle of Ketchup

Bag of Light Brown Sugar

Optional: Slow Cooker Liners. These save my life for parties since I know the crock will be on all day long and I don't have to dred cleaning the stoneware when I get home.

I use a 6qt. Crockpot for most batches- it may look like a lot but they are gobbled up before I know it and everyone is asking for more!
Line slow cooker with liner if you are using it, if not you could lightly spray cooking spray around to help with cleanup as well.
Place half of the meatballs in the crockpot and get ready to make your sauce.
The sauce is open for interpretation but I've found around 1:1 ratio of ketchup to brown sugar works well. Fresh brown sugar is best to avoid the clumps of rock hard sugar. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and taste. I use about 3/4 bottle of ketchup to about 3/4+ of brown sugar. We like ours a little bit sweeter because when it cooks and cooks the flavor just melts together and it's delightful and not so ketchup-y. It should turn a dark red color once mixed thoroughly. Try to get out as many lumps as you can. Using the back of a spoon helps. Just mix a little and taste, add a little more, and keep going till you have enough sauce and are happy :)
Pour half the mixture over the meatballs, repeat by adding the rest of the meatballs and topping with the remaining sauce.
Cook on high for about 4 hours or until cooked through. I usually start on high for about 3 hours and then switch to warm for a few more hours if I have time before the party. The longer it cooks the better the sauce gets.
Here we are all starting to cook. I'll try and get a picture of the finished product... if they aren't all gone first!


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