When I see “Caramelized Onion” in a recipe title, I do two things: wipe the drool from my mouth, and then tell my aroused tastebuds, “It is 90 degrees outside and there is no way I am going to stand over a hot skillet for 20 minutes straight.”
Thankfully, Shockingly Delicious came to the rescue with a recipe for caramelized onions–made in a slow cooker! As I chopped my way through six onions the other day, I told myself the fume-induced sobs were tears of joy, because I was subsequently free to induge my caramelized onion cravings even in the middle of July.
Ground beef, like the ubiquitous chicken breast, winds up on millions of dinner tables every night, in predictable form. Growing up, we ate it in cheesy-spinach casserole, taco salad, burritos, meatloaf, and in spagetti sauce. Now, I love infusing this staple with global flavors instead of the expected tex-mex seasonings or marinara sauce. These meatballs take a cue from traditional moroccan flavors and an oniony twist on tzaziki makes a cool, creamy sauce.
I always add whatever veggies I have on hand to my meatballs. In the meatballs pictured, I added 1/2 cup carrot puree. You won’t taste it in the finished meatballs–it just adds bulk and moisture. I also use grated zucchini, mashed butternut squash, or pumpkin.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ cup pumpkin, carrot, or butternut squash puree or grated zucchini (optional)
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¾ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. salt
- heaping ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- heaping ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs. coconut flour
- About 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 6 onions
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- First, make the caramelized onions. Slice the onion in ¼ inch slices and toss the onions, salt, and olive oil in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. You may want to do this the night before. Set aside 1 cup of the caramelized onions and refridgerate; you can freeze the remaining 2 cups for about 6 months.
- To make the meatballs, mix all the meatball ingredients--except the olive oil-- together. Form into 8 balls and brown in the olive oil. Cook through. While they are cooking, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and reserved (and cold, from being in the fridge) caramelized onions. Serve warm meatballs with the chilly sauce.
- Makes 8 big meatballs, for 4 servings. They are even better the next day, cold straight from the fridge.