I can still remember the smell in the house when my mom would make these before her and my dad had a card party back in the late 70's and 80's or when she'd make them to take to work potlucks. They are out of this world good. They go amazingly when served with some kind of cheese ball. The recipe can be made stove top or semi stove top then finished in a crock pot. I promise, you and your guests won't be disappointed.
****I should note right off the bat that I always double or triple this recipe. There is no way to go to a party or potluck with just 1 pound of these because they are loved way too much. If you are making them just to munch on at home then maybe, but even then you'll wish you had made more for leftovers****
Season ground beef with salt and pepper and make meatballs the size you want them. I tend to make them somewhat smaller, sort of bite size so you can pick them up with a toothpick easily.
Brown them in a skillet or in the oven but do not cook them all the way through. I do mine in a skillet and you have to do them in batches. Do not over crowd the skillet. Drain them onto a paper towel as you pull them out of the skillet. If you're using the optional minced onion you can add them to the last batch of meatballs or throw them in with the sauce. I've done both.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and simmer for 3 hours. If using the Crock Pot method, at this point you will transfer the already boiled mixture and meatballs to a Crock Pot and put them on high until they are cooking at a boil again, about 20-30 min, then turn them to low and cook for 3-4 hours more. Enjoy!
**Don't forget, these are WONDERFUL served along with your favorite cheese ball. I don't know what it is but the two flavors just marry so nicely**