Tender and Juicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Serious Eats

Ready in: 660 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • Freshly ground black pepper
    Produce
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
    Milk, Eggs, Other Dairy
  • 3 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
    Canned and Jarred
  • Cooked pasta, for serving
    Pasta and Rice
  • 2 large eggs
    Milk, Eggs, Other Dairy
  • 1 sprig fresh basil
    Produce
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, minced
    Produce;Spices and Seasonings
  • 12 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided
    Produce
  • 1 pound ground beef (at least 25% fat)
    Meat
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork (at least 25% fat)
    Meat
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt (18 grams)
    Spices and Seasonings
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Oil, Vinegar, Salad Dressing
  • 1 large onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
    Produce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
    Produce;Spices and Seasonings
  • 2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, plus more for serving
    Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    Spices and Seasonings
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, roughly torn
    Bakery/Bread

Steps

  • 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 1
  • 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 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

  • Calories: 1240.54  cal  (62.03%)
  • Fat: 75.87  g  (116.72%)
  • Saturated Fat: 25.79  g  (161.16%)
  • Carbohydrates: 75.25  g  (25.08%)
  • Sugar: 22.68  g  (25.2%)
  • Cholesterol: 299.87  mg  (99.96%)
  • Sodium: 3147.8  mg  (136.86%)
  • Protein: 66.29  g  (132.58%)
  • Vitamin C: 168.83  mg  (204.65%)
  • Vitamin K: 163.46  µg  (155.67%)
  • Selenium: 93.43  µg  (133.48%)
  • Vitamin B1: 1.59  mg  (106.15%)
  • Vitamin B6: 2.12  mg  (105.97%)
  • Vitamin B3: 17.54  mg  (87.68%)
  • Phosphorus: 837.86  mg  (83.79%)
  • Vitamin A: 4087.37  IU  (81.75%)
  • Iron: 13.18  mg  (73.24%)
  • Vitamin B2: 1.21  mg  (70.98%)
  • Zinc: 10.63  mg  (70.89%)
  • Potassium: 2312.24  mg  (66.06%)
  • Vitamin B12: 3.93  µg  (65.56%)
  • Manganese: 1.27  mg  (63.4%)
  • Vitamin E: 8.42  mg  (56.13%)
  • Calcium: 550.77  mg  (55.08%)
  • Fiber: 11.53  g  (46.12%)
  • Magnesium: 167.7  mg  (41.93%)
  • Folate: 164.85  µg  (41.21%)
  • Copper: 0.77  mg  (38.41%)
  • Vitamin B5: 3.4  mg  (33.95%)
  • Vitamin D: 1.01  µg  (6.74%)

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