Crockpot Mini Brewed Meatballs


  • 3 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs (use seasoned bread crumbs if you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil to fry meatballs


  • 1 (12 ounce) can/bottle of good beer
  • 1 (12 ounce) can/bottle spicy tomato juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 large bottle (12 ounces) of mild barbecue sauce (or you may substitute ketchup)
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make your meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with onion, bread crumbs, and eggs. Use your hands to squish everything together until well mixed, but don’t handle too much or the meat tends to toughen up.  Just make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.  Then, form the meat mixture into small meatballs, about the size of a golf ball is usually good.

Pour a bit of cooking oil in a large skillet, heat to medium, add the meatballs (don’t crowd the pan) and brown the meatballs all over. Set the browned meatballs on paper towels on a rack to absorb any extra grease.

Optional: You may choose to brown the meatballs in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, put the meatballs on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning a couple times to brown all sides.

Make your sauce: In a large saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Don’t let it come to a boil.

Assemble: Turn your crock pot on LOW.  Put the meatballs in, then pour the hot sauce on top of the meatballs.  Gently stir together, being careful not to break up the meatballs.  Cover the crockpot and cook on LOW for about 3 hours.  Stir occasionally, but be sure to be careful that you don’t break up the meatballs.

You can let this simmer slowly for quite a while so you can keep it hot on your buffet without worrying about overcooking.  You’ll have around 65 to 70 meatballs with this recipe so you should have plenty for a crowd.

Ready to learn more about crockpot cooking? Get my Crockpot Cooking Made Simple ebook today and find out how you can work this into your meal plan, how to choose a good crockpot and most importantly how to convert your favorite recipes to work in a slow cooker.

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