Yes, these are really called Saucy Balls.
I'd like to point out that these were originally named 'Crockpot Paleo Meatballs and Sauce', but my husband and our friends have a rather juvenile sense of humor sometimes.
But then, so do I. Saucy Balls it is.
I found a pretty clever crock pot meatball recipe over at Mom Gone Paleo. I was seriously loving her idea of layering onions in the crockpot with the sauce and meatballs rather than dicing/chopping/mincing and mixing it in with them both….I love the taste of onion, but have found my body doesn't always like when I eat them. This way, I had the best of both worlds.
The meat is mixed up in a large bowl, along with eggs, almond meal, parmesan cheese, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper.
Did anyone else just start singing S&P's 'Push It'?
Never mind then.
Since I usually am making this to share with others, and non-paleo folk tend to get squeamish about grease/fat in the sauce, I pan-fry or bake off the meatballs before I put them into the crockpot.
I've learned the hard way. Trust me on this one.
Since baking them is easier/less messy/allows me more time to dance around the kitchen singing into the spatula ('ooh, bay-beh BAY-beh….mmm, push it!'), I popped the balls…not yet saucy…into my silicone muffin cups and baked them in a preheated 400F oven for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in between trying to remember Salt & Peppa's dance moves and ignoring Chris' comments about my tasty, meaty balls, I sliced the onions and started the sauce.
Once the meatballs are done, assmembly of the saucy balls is easy.
Onions went down as the first layer in the crockpot, then the tasty, meaty balls. I pour off the accumulated juice and fat and save it for my very delighted puppies.
Top the onions and balls off with a layer of sauce, and then repeat the layers of onions, balls, sauce until the ingredients are all used up.
Since (in this case) the meatballs are pre-cooked, I just heat the crock on low for about 3 hours. As Mom Gone Paleo suggests, you can make this in advance and stick it in the fridge, then pull it out and heat it when you're ready.
I usually serve this over zucchini and summer squash sauteed in olive oil for us paleoheads, with some shaved parmesan cheese over the top. For everyone else, well, spaghetti does nicely.
Ooooh, baby baby! Get up on this!
Saucy Balls (Crockpot paleo meatballs and sauce)
*this is a double recipe, ideal for large crockpots, big crowds, or people who really like saucy balls.
2 lbs of ground beef
2 lbs mild Italian sausage
1 10 oz package frozen steamed spinach, thawed and well drained, chopped
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 parmesan cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoons sea salt
Crumble the sausage and ground beef in a bowl with your hands. Add in all other ingredients and combine, using your hands, until it's completely incorporated.
Roll into balls, keeping in mind that shrinkage will occur while cooking (balls will shrink down to about 3/4 of the size they are raw as they cook).
** If serving to non-paleo guests who would turn up their nose at the juices and fat in the sauce, I recommend you panfry balls on all sides until cooked through or bake in a 400F oven for about 20 minutes (until cooked through).
Combine sauce ingredients in a large bowl:
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic, pressed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary leaves
Layer cooked meatballs over onion.
Top meatballs (cooked or uncooked) with a thin layer of sauce.
Repeat onion, meatball, and cause layers until it's all used, ending with the sauce on top.
**If you pre-cook your balls, heating time will be much less than stated below.
Cook on low 6 hours, or on high 4 hours.
If you refrigerate the saucy balls in the crockpot overnight, just start it in the morning. Cook (from refrigerated) about 5 hours on high, 8 hours on low.