Monday, May 17, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheese Stuffed Meatballs


1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
4 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese, grated
1 to 1 1/2 cups Italian dry bread crumbs
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, divided into 12 pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 jars of your favorite red sauce
2 pounds spaghetti, cooked al dente


In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley and dried oregano. Add bread crumbs 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is not to wet and can be formed into balls easily. Form mixture into 12 balls using your thumb to press a hole in the center. Insert a piece of the fresh mozzarella into the hole and close the hole by pushing the meatball mixture around it to secure the mozzarella inside each ball.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle olive oil into it. Add meatballs and cook until just browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs into a slow cooker. Pour red sauce over the meatballs and cook on LOW for approximately 5 hours. Serve the stuffed meatballs and sauce over spaghetti.

From whence it came: The queen of yum-e...Paula Deen! Her sailor husband blogged about these and said they were his "new" favorite meatballs so I just had to try 'em! Oh Paula, you know how to make some mighty delicious meatballs. And you're funny! And you're pretty! And I love you! And you should invite me on your show! I just know we would end up being BFFs!

Why it's blogable: This recipe is as blogable as a recipe gets! I am in love with these meatballs. And it's not just me who gave them two thumbs up, the whole family loved them! I will make these again and again, and I will make them for company. And when...yes, I said when...Tim McGraw comes for dinner someday I might just make these for him. They are that good!

A few deviations: Normally when I try a new recipe I follow it exactly, and then sometimes I change some things the next time I make it. I almost did that this time, but not quite. I used two pounds of ground beef and didn't use the pork. I never buy ground pork, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, so I stuck with what I know...beef. Also, I forgot to buy the parsley, but I don't think we missed it at all. And don't stress if some of the cheese oozes out as they cook. It just doesn't matter. Also, you know how I feel about my friend, Butch! I used his Marinara Sauce and oh baby! You can't beat Butch Cassidy's Marinara Sauce! The recipe says it feeds six, and for our family it fed six with leftovers. It makes 12 huge meatballs, we had six of us for dinner and we had five meatballs leftover. Not because they weren't good, but because they are ginormous! In a happy way!

I just have to say: Make this recipe! You won't be sorry!

Hope you enjoy stirring it up!

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