Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crock Pot Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I like good old fashioned meatballs.  I do not like the fat.  Here is my two-day recipe for meatballs and sauce.  Don't be scared; it takes two days so you can skim the fat.  The work is short.

Ground beef, extra lean (about 1.5 pounds)
1 pound extra lean pork
1 pound white meat ground turkey 
Turkey Italian Sausage (about 1.5 pounds)
2 teaspoons oregano
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp. garlic powder
3 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Beat the eggs a little in a large bowl.  Add everything else.  Gently use your hands to thoroughly mix it all together. Now get some friends (I use handy children) and start rolling the meatballs.  Again, be gentle or they will be tough.  You can make any size; I like them slightly smaller than a ping pong ball.  As you make them, place them on a tray covered with foil or wax paper.  Pile them high, they're going in the crockpot anyway!

In a 6 quart crockpot, place:
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
28 oz. tomato sauce
4 cloves of garlic, crushed.

Place the meatballs into this sauce.  They will be piled higher than the sauce; no problem.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  When they are done, take the lid off and let them cool 30 minutes or so.  Take out as many meatballs as you want for dinner tomorrow to refrigerate, and place the rest in freezer containers.  (They should be cool enough to touch before you put them in the freezer).

Ladle the sauce into a glass bowl or large measuring cup, cover and refrigerate overnight.

About 30 minutes before serving time, skim the fat off the top of the sauce and discard.  Place the remaining sauce into a large pot.  Add:

2-28 oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine

Bring to a boil over medium heat, and gently return the meatballs to the pan to heat.  Cook 20 minutes, reducing heat to "simmer" when the pot returns to a boil.

Meanwhile, finely chop:
3 Tablespoons fresh basil

Stir in the basil when the cooking time is up and remove from heat.  Decant about 2/3 of the sauce into your freezer containers, depending on "saucy" you like your pasta.  Freeze remaining sauce once cooled.

[I will add the photo tomorrow!]

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