What’s for supper tonight?! I always got excited when my mom would announce she was fixing these meatballs. I have changed it a bit by making it gluten free and I don’t bake them in the over or on the stove. I prefer them in the crockpot for several reasons; they are more moist and tender, it doesn’t heat up my house since it feels like the sun fell on top of Ga right now and I think the gravy makes the meatballs taste extra yummy by letting the meatballs cook in the gravy for a while. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
1In a large non stick skillet, pour your oil and start preheating it at medium-low heat. Don’t let it get too hot, you don’t want it to pop on you when you start to add your meatballs.
2In a large bowl, add to your ground chuck the bread crumbs (I usually eyeball my breadcrumbs and just pour in until it has a good consistency and the meatballs hold together. You definitely don’t want to add too much or it will be grainy and taste more like bread. Icky!), seasonings--(here’s the thing about the seasonings...I don’t really measure them but if I had to give an actual measurement, I would then say about 2-4 tsp of each) Add in the pre-whisked eggs.
3Take off all of your rings and get ready to get dirty...this is the fun part! Mix together well making sure to incorporate your bread crumbs into the meat mixture. This is very important as you don’t want the bread crumbs to be clumped into one area. Distribute them well by folding the meat and pressing it out and repeating this process until it looks like the bread crumbs are mixed together. If you think it may need more bread crumbs only add a pinch each time. (Your meatballs should hold together when you form a ball)
4Begin making your meatballs. I like to make mine around the size of a golfball since they will shrink down while they are cooking. I like to place my meatballs on a cookie sheet until I am ready to brown all of them at once.
5Once you have made your meatballs, you are now ready to brown the outside only. You don’t need to cook them through at this point. Place enough meatballs in the skillet to brown them but don’t overcrowd the skillet, only add enough that you can easily spoon them out when you have browned all the sides. Usually takes about 3 minutes for each batch to brown.
6Once all of your meatballs have been cooked, place them into your crockpot and pour 1 box of beef broth or 2 cups of warm water with 1 beef bouillon mixed well until dissolved. You basically want enough liquid in the crockpot to keep the meatballs moist throughout the cooking process. Set your crockpot on high and cook for 4-6 hours or until your meatballs run clear and if you are a paranoid meat person, you can do a thermometer check and if it reads 160º, they are done.
7Prepare your gravy mix and follow the directions on the package. I like to use Pioneer Gluten free brown gravy mix but you can use whatever gravy mix you’d like.
8Remove your meatballs and place into a bowl around the last 30-45 minutes of cooking to add in your gravy mix. Your broth should look about like this.
9Pour your prepared gravy mix into the crockpot and whisk until it’s smooth and no lumps are visible. Add another 1/2 cup of broth and whisk if you need to. You don’t want your gravy mix too thick, this won’t taste good. When you have a good consistency and the gravy isn’t too thick, begin adding your meatballs back into the crockpot carefully so that you don’t splatter...you don’t want to get burned!
(If you put too much liquid into the gravy mix, you can easily fix this by adding cornstarch and water. To do this, take 1/4 cup of cool water to 2 tbs of cornstarch and whisk it until it’s mixed well and pour it into the gravy a few drops at a time until it’s thickened up.) Put the lid back on and continue cooking for 30 minutes checking it occasionally to make sure the gravy isn’t getting too thick.
When the timer goes off, check the meatballs and make sure the juices run clear and the temperature reads 160-170º. I serve our meatballs on egg noodles and ohmagah, yummy!! Enjoy! Please feel free in asking for directions!