I suppose I’ve had this recipe all my life, because I remember my mom making this very early in my youth. It feeds a crowd and can be baked in the oven on baking sheets with the sauce poured over to caramelize into a sticky flavorful glaze. Or, I’ve cooked the meatballs separately and then scooped them into a crock pot, topped with the sauce and gave a gentle stir to combine. After a couple hours on low the dish is steamy warm and easy to transport.
The best part about this recipe is the sauce. Every time I make this easy BBQ sauce, I wonder why I ever grab a bottle of at the store. I love the flavor combination of ketchup, brown sugar and liquid smoke. It’s my kind of BBQ flavor, and it’s easy.
Last Saturday night our cul-de-sac held a pre-hibernation block party. What a perfect evening. The temperature was mild, the wind was calm, and the tables were filled with delicious pot luck dishes, a small toddler’s swimming pool brimmed with iced beer, and one whole table featured bottles of wine. We met all of our new neighbors and I must say…we blended. Nearly everyone is our age and all are as thrilled to have moved into this community as we are. We’re a happy and grateful bunch.
I brought these meatballs and not many came home with us. More than just one, but a the crockpot was pretty empty on the return trip home. One neighbor commented that he had eaten about 20 of them. Don’t you love hearing comments like that over your food? I do.
- 3 pounds ground beef extra lean
- 13 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups saltine crackers crushed
- 1 whole onion diced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 4 cups catsup
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 2 clove garlic crushed
- 4 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
- 3 cups brown sugar firmly packed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Mix first 9 ingredients together and form into balls about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Place on two 9 x 13 baking dishes, sprayed with no-stick spray. cover liberally with sauce and bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until meatballs are done. (time depends on meatball size)
- Sauce Directions:
- In a sauce pan, mix catsup, onion, garlic, liquid smoke, brown sugar and bring to a boil.
- This makes around 90 meatballs. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking. I've always had a little bit of extra BBQ sauce left over. It all depends on how saucy you want the final mixture. I like enough sauce just to generously coat the meatballs and to form into a caramelized glaze when baked.
Mom’s BBQ Meatballs…They’re What’s for a Pot Luck.