I had some spare time today and thought I’d prepare this dish for the weekend. If you’re like most working folks, you just want to come home at the end of the day and crash, right? Well, this dish can be prepared over the weekend for any day of the week. We’ll be having this for dinner on Friday night.
1 lbs. ground beef
1 2/3 oz milk or sour cream
1/3 cup dry, GF oatmeal
1/3 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2/3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
2 cups ketchup (I like to use Hunt’s ketchup because it has no high fructose corn syrup in it).
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke*
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped onions
1. Combine all meatball ingredients. Shape into walnut-sized balls. I typically use a cookie scoop. Not only is it cleaner, but it also makes more precise balls. Place balls on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Freeze.** When fully frozen, place in a plastic bag and store in the freezer until needed.
2. Combine all sauce ingredients. I place my sauce in a reusable glass container (e.g. clean pasta sauce jar). I like to mix mine up ahead of time so it has a few days for the ingredients to marinade together. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.
3. When ready to use, place frozen meatballs in slow cooker (Crockpot). Pour sauce over meatballs and stir. Cover. 4. Continue cooking on high 1 hour. Stir. Turn to low and cook 6-9 hours.
If you do not have a slow cooker, you can also do this in a saucepan on the stove top.
Variations: Instead of using barbecue sauce (purchased or homemade), cook meatballs with spaghetti sauce or cream of mushroom soup. You can also serve these with spaghetti and sauce.
*I could not find liquid smoke at our grocery store. Instead, I used one part water, one part Hickory smoke rub (dry spice from Tones). Mix until dissolved and then add to the sauce.
**To save on freezer space – it’s hard to fit a cookie sheet in the freezer! – I just put the meatballs outside (covered with Saran wrap) to freeze … it’s 14 degrees here in Iowa. Once frozen, I’ll transfer them to a bag and bring them inside.