Author Topic: Meatballs and Marinara (Slow Cooker)  (Read 1067 times)

Olga Drozd

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Meatballs and Marinara (Slow Cooker)
« on: January 03, 2017, 05:04:42 PM »
Meatballs and Marinara (Slow Cooker)

These meatballs are very tender with a rich sauce.  This recipe involves some advance work, but once everything is in the slow cooker, you've bought yourself hours of freedom with a delicious meal.  First you start by sauteing onions, tomato paste, and garlic, you will then remove half of this for the meatballs.  The remaining onion/tomato will be deglazed with red wine.  Crushed tomatoes, water, and a little soy sauce will add a depth of flavor.  The meatballs are of ground beef and Italian sausage, along with some of the sauteed onion aromatics, Parmesan, and parsley.  A paste of bread and milk--provides the moisture they need.  Microwaving the meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker will render just enough fat to ensure you sauce will be less greasy.  (NOTE:  I did not have crushed tomatoes so I used a jar of strained tomatoes (passata) I used  2 1/4 cups but for more sauce use 4 to 5 cups of strained tomatoes if you plan to use it over spaghetti. Strained tomatoes usually comes bottled or sold in cartons.  Processing the tomatoes includes removing the stem, skin and the seeds from the tomato pulp prior to further processing and packaging.) (crushed tomatoes do not include skin or seeds also)

Works best in a large (minimum 5 quart) slow cooker

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh oregano OR 2 teaspoons dried
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup dry red wine
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (I measured 5 cups total)
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 slices high quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/4 pounds (85%) lean ground beef
4 ounces Italian sausage, removed from its casing
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce), plus extra for serving
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar, plus extra as needed
Salt and pepper as needed


Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add onions, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove half of of the onion mixture and place in a large bowl (this will be added to the ground beef mixture).

Stir wine into skillet with the remaining onion mixture and scrape up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.  Stir tomatoes, water, and soy sauce into slow cooker.

Add bread and milk to the large bowl of onion mixture and mash to a paste with fork.  Mix in ground beef, sausage, Parmesan, parsley, egg yolks, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper using hands.  Pinch off and roll mixture into about 1 1/2 inch meatballs (about 18 meatballs total.)

Microwave meatballs on large plate until fat renders and meatballs are firm, 5 to 7 minutes turning them over half way.  Nestle meatballs into slow cooker, discarding rendered fat on the plate.  Cover and cook until meatballs are tender, 4 to 6 hours on LOW.  Mine cooked in 4 hours.

Let meatballs and sauce settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.  Gently stir in basil and sugar, season with salt, pepper,  and serve.  Serves 6.  Serve with 1 1/2 pounds cooked spaghetti and garlic bread.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 12:08:42 PM by Olga Drozd »