Meatballs slow cooked in a spicy, paprika and sour cream-infused tomato sauce and served over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Whichever one your hungry, comfort-food-lovin’ heart is in the mood for.
I did it. I really did it. I made meatballs that weren’t Italian inspired! I only recently realized how often I use Italian flavors in my day to day cooking whether it be seasonings, cheese or just being inspired by one of the classics. I’m starting to understand I can’t help it. It’s just who I am.
Aside from that, it’s almost that time of the year again when my slow cooker has a permanent place on my kitchen counter. I wonder how we got here so fast. I blinked and summer was over and done. I’m not sad one bit because I have a long list of comfort food recipes I’ve been waiting to make! Lucky me. . . and you.
What seems like a complicated dish to make isn’t. There’s a short list of ingredients for both the sauce and meatballs. The most important being the two types of paprika, both sweet and hot. If you don’t like hot food you can cut down a little on the hot paprika but keep in mind there is also a fair amount of sour cream that balances it out.
That’s the star of the show. The sour cream. . .combined with the rich flavor of the paprika. They were made for each other.
And this was made for you.
- 2 - 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 + ½ cups sour cream
- 1 + ½ pounds lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup minced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- a couple pinches each of salt and pepper
- cooked egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes
- In a medium frying pan heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat and add the onions and green peppers. Cook, stirring often until they start to soften.
- Turn the heat down to low and push the onions and pepper to the sides of the pan making a well in the middle. Add another tablespoon of oil and both paprikas. Stir the vegetables into it and cook 2 - 3 minutes. If the pan is very dry add the remaining tablespoon of oil.
- Scrape it into a 4 or 5-quart crockpot with the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl using a fork combine the beef, egg, bread crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Scoop up rounded tablespoons of the mixture and form into balls. Gently drop into the sauce.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low 5 - 6 hours. Add the sour cream to a medium bowl and mix in a few ladles of sauce to temper it then pour the entire thing back into the pot and stir well.
- Serve over egg noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.