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Easy Slow Cooker Dominican Style Meatballs
Very Special Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is a very special dish in the American Cuisine. Meatballs are yummy and they are usually enjoyed by everyone. You can make meatballs from different combinations of meats depending on your preference. Italian meatballs are very popular and are usually made from beef, pork, and veal. My recipe involves using only beef, but I often mix beef and turkey. The recipe can be very versatile. The trick to tasty and juicy meatballs is cooking them long enough for the sauce to absorb into the meat. Meatballs also give you the option of adding more veggies to your family’s diet. Feel free to adjust this recipe as it accommodates your needs. Use whatever you have handy and adjust ingredients to suit your taste.
The sauce is the life of the dish. Although rather simple you can make the sauce as fancy as you like. As I mentioned before, you can add vegetables and seasonings according to your taste. I have infused my meatballs with a little Caribbean touch. In my native Dominican Republic, meatballs are only made from beef. I have heard that in order for the meat to stay together you need eggs and bread crumbs, but I have never used those ingredients. The meat will hold together without those ingredients. You can test this for yourself using the recipe I have included. If you don't feel safe doing that, then go ahead and use whatever you would like.
The seasoning mix I decided to use for this recipe is typical of everyday cooking in the Dominican Republic, although we add a lot more ingredients. The Chicken Bouillon Powder adds taste and salt to the recipe. As you can confirm through making this dish, the meatballs are infused with lots of flavors and you don’t need many ingredients.
Before we go on with the recipe, I would like to point out that investing in a slow cooker is something you will never regret. There are thousands of recipes you can make in the slow cooker. If you are a busy mom or if you know it will be difficult for you to cook, don’t spend your money on take-out, grab your slow cooker and get it done while you run errands. I am a student, so I begin my day by placing whatever I chose to cook for that day in the slow cooker and by the time I get home, it is ready to enjoy.
For this recipe, I have chosen to use a slow cooker, because it helps the sauce absorb into the meat and also the meatballs can cook while I'm in school.
If you don't have a slow cooker you can use your stove top or ove. Make sure to cook on low. You will need the following ingredients and a seasoning mix for the meatballs. Follow the instructions carefully, but do not worry this recipe is safe for substitutions and approximates.
Seasoning Mix(Sofrito) Ingredients:
3 cloves of garlic
½ medium onions
1/4 cup Cilantro (I love it!)
½ Tablespoon of Chicken Flavor Bouillon Powder
1 small tomato
½ of a medium green bell pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup frozen peppers(Mixed Pepper Strips)
½ cup of tomato paste
½ cup diced onions (optional)
1 ½ cups of water
½ tablespoon of Canola oil
Instructions for Seasoning Mix:
Place all ingredients in a blender until the mix becomes a creamy consistency. Add a little water if needed but not too much. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Set the mix aside.
This seasoning mix should be a little salty to taste, this is what will give the dish flavor.
- In a big bowl place the ground beef along with the seasoning mix. Mix well with fingers (make sure you wash your hands). Form small meatballs in the palm of your hand.
- Place oil in a frying pan and heat it up. Place meatballs on the hot oil and cook until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- In the same oil add the tomato paste and half of the peppers and the onions. Cook for a few minutes and add water. Let the sauce come to a boil and turn off heat.
- Place the remainder of the peppers on the bottom of the slow cooker, followed by the meatballs, and lastly add the sauce. Cover and set slow cooker to 6 hours on high.
Step by Step
Another Option I love
Keep In Mind the Temperature
Remember all slow cookers don't have the same temperature settings. My slow cooker does well on high, but if it is your first time using yours, I recommend using the low setting and cooking for longer. If you are able to, mix half way through the cooking process to make sure all the meatballs are covered in the sauce.