Saturday, March 07, 2009

Recipe #1 - Meaty Balls: The Best You Ever Eated

"Meaty Balls"
Photograph by Vanessa V. Kilmer © March 6, 2009

Meaty Balls Recipe

These Meaty Balls are the best party food you will ever serve. From reading this recipe, I know you won't believe me and who could blame you. As a writer, I am born to lie. But I'm not fibbing here. Let's just say I am working on my non-fiction.

I make these for every backyard picky-net we have; I make them every year for our company Christmas party. When I don't make them people want to know where they are. A friend took the recipe and makes them as fund raisers for her daughter's cheer-leading group each year.

I'm feeling cranky this week, so I did a double 666 theme in writing up the recipe, but the amounts are correct.

6 quart slow cooker (Turn it on high to heat that sucker up.)

6 pounds, fully cooked, frozen, Italian style, cocktail size meatballs (I think they are 5/8 of an ounce.) You can call them hors d'oeuvres size if you are the snooty type. My aunt, who originally gave me this recipe, made the meatballs from scratch and you can do that if you are an over achiever, but your efforts will not make them taste any better.

60 ounces ketchup (Use Heinz because I own stock in the company. No, see there I lied. Sorry.)

6 times 4 ounces of beer (QV likes Rolling Rock, so I use that so he can get mad that I am "wasting" his beer.)

6 dashes of garlic powder (I like garlic, so I add lots and since everyone will eat it, the kissing later won't be too awful. Oh, you know you have those kinds of parties.)

6 shakes of onion powder (Make sure you are not using garlic salt or onion salt. You will get plenty of salt in the ketchup and blowing up like a water filled balloon is not attractive at parties.)

Start this as early in the morning as possible. I usually begin them around 6am.

Open the bag of frozen meaty balls. Dump them in the slow cooker. Put the lid on.

In a big sauce pot, empty the entire contents of the ketchup bottle. Pop open a beer. (Drink it if you have relatives coming over during the day. If you do this step, you'll need extra beer.)

Open another bottle of beer. Pour some in the ketchup bottle, put the lid on and shake the bottle. This is so much fun. When you open the bottle, ketchup will explode all over the kitchen. I guess I should have warned you, huh? Pour the fizzy beer from the ketchup bottle into the sauce pot. Add the rest of the beer from the can. (We use both bottled and canned beer in our house, at the same time.) Add a second bottle of beer to the ketchup in the pot.

If you like things on the milder side don't add the garlic and onion powders. Otherwise, shake in however much you like. I do about a good heaping tablespoon of each. Use a whisk and swirl it around.

Turn on the flame and boil it for a few minutes, mostly just to make it hot. You don't want to cook out all of the alcohol. You'll need to calm the children down later. Oh, and watch out for the lava like bubbles that can erupt on the surface.

Pour the hot sauce over the meaty balls. Ooops, I forgot to tell you to uncover the slow cooker first. That's what beer at the crack of dawn does to you. Cover the slow cooker back up when you have the sauce in there.

Leave it on high for a couple of hours, then turn it down to low for another six. They will then be ready to eat at 2pm, which is perfect for me, because I am usually napping by then and my guests can take care of themselves.

The longer they cook, the better they taste. I would try to describe the flavor but it can't be done. They do not taste like ketchup and they do not taste Italian. They are truly different.

Eat them on club rolls or by themselves, so you can eat more of them.

They freeze well too but you really won't have any left. People will take them home if they haven't eaten them all.


  1. MMMMMMMMMM mmmmmmmmm if only I could even boil water They sound delish!!!

  2. Brilliantly funny writing, but oh so true. I fix those for my wife, but have never added beer. She would love that. The old dog I used to have used to put the opened end of beer cans in his mouth and raise them up to drain the contents, I bet he would have loved them! This was the funniest thing I've read in a while. Thanks.

  3. Now that is a perfect recipe for a happy bachelor or a cranky wife.

  4. Thom: There is no water in this recipe, just beer, so you are good.

    Tom: I am glad I gave you a chuckle. I don't consider myself very funny, so I am glad. Add the beer next time, it really makes a taste difference.

    Doug: Made to order for us, aye?

  5. I stopped eating red meat for 18 years and just started to again recently. But only grass-fed beef. This is the healthiest. Now I am looking for recipes, so this meatball recipe looks good.

  6. That my dear, was a riot. Going to have to print this out and give it a go.

  7. Rhea: I bet these would taste just as great with tofu MB or ones made from beans. And wow - 18 years.

    Jeff B: Despite the joking around, they really are terrific.

  8. hmmm... does a 'don't do this at home' warning come with the recipe?

    too funny, and it does sound yummy in a strange way.

  9. I will tell Betty to look at the receipe since I no longer cook just direct.

  10. You are a writer AND you are an eater. I am a very good eater. These meaty balls sound YUMMY!!!!!

  11. Juliana: I did give several warnings - sort of; D

    Dr. John: You will enjoy the tasting part.

    JD: I love being called a writer. Thanks. And I do love eating. Yum.

  12. Nessa your recipe looks delicious! I make a similar one for all the biker events I go to - Biker Meatballs

    Same thing as your frozen Italian meatballs - add two bottle of Very Teriyaki sauce - cook in sauce pan for an hour on low simmer and voila! Bring toothpicks and you are an instant hit~

    I should call them Lazy Girl's Meatballs :)

  13. Tsduff: Yours sound delish too. I like teriyaki. Instead of Lazy I prefer Smart!