Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crock Pot Cocktail Meatballs

The Madness has officially begun.  Last night the reigning NCAA basketball champs, the Kentucky Wildcats, saw their season go down in flames in the first round of, get this, the NIT.  They were defeated by Robert Morris (anyone ever heard of them?) whose fans then proceeded to storm the court.  Again, keep in mind we're talking about the first round of the NIT.  For those of you who don't follow basketball and have no idea what I'm talking about, let me compare this to Arnold Schwarzenegger losing to, let's, in an arm wrestling competition.  Epic fail.

For those of you who are basketball fans, be jealous of me.  I am on Spring Break for the rest of the week, which means I get to watch those daytime tournament games from the comfort of my own couch, instead of clandestinely streaming games onto a smartphone while pretending work like the rest of you.  This includes my beloved K-State Wildcats on Friday afternoon.  Ah, I love my job!  

So anyway, I like watching sports.  I like eating good food while watching sports.  Crock Pot cocktail meatballs are good food, especially for watching sports.  

I made these meatballs for a game-watching party a few weeks ago.  This is not a new recipe in my family, but these are always a crowd pleaser.  They are a fun munchy-type food.  And they have a great savory/spicy/sweet flavor combo going on thanks to Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, and grape jelly.  I don't know who came up with the idea of those flavors together, but I'm glad they did.  This recipe is just a great old school, pot luck, church dinner classic!

And it is definitely a hostess pleaser.  That's because these mini meatballs are prepared hours before the guests show up, dumped in a Crock Pot, and left to simmer until game time.  And that's good new because sometimes the hostess wants to be able to watch the pre-game analysis with everyone else!  Just put out some toothpicks and let your happy guests have 'em!

Crock Pot Cocktail Meatballs
1 lb hamburger
1/2 c oatmeal
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
10 oz grape jelly
Mix hamburger, oatmeal, onion, milk, egg, parsley, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Cook meatballs in a large skillet over medium heat until browned on outside (not fully cooked).
Transfer to crock pot.  Add chili sauce and jelly.  Gently stir to combine.  Set heat to low and cook for 2-3 hours, until internal temperature of meat is 165 degrees.  Stir after about an hour to make sure jelly melts into the sauce.  Serve hot with toothpicks.

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