I like to use my crock pot as much as possible on Sundays. Otherwise, we end up so hungry after church that we go out to eat instead of making something at home. I'm making a real effort to eat out a lot less, so I'm doing as much preparing ahead of time as possible. I enjoy cooking, and with all the great ideas on Pinterest, I have an endless supply of ideas. Problem is I can never follow a recipe as written. I like to do my own thing. (I have the same problem with homeschool curriculum, so I guess it's just me.)
So, these meatballs contain both extremely lean elk burger and not at all lean pork sausage :) I did most of my prep work Saturday night so Sunday church prep would go smoothly. I began by pulling a chunk of burger from each and put in a baggy for the baby. I had to fry that up before we ate, but it only took a few minutes. If I would have had a little oven safe bowl, I would have put the meat in that inside the crock pot, protected from the other contaminants ;) I bought some little bowls for just that purpose Sunday afternoon.
Okay, back to the recipe... I measured out eight ounces of the burger for myself - mostly elk, but a little pork too, and put that in a separate bowl. I put one egg in my bowl and two eggs in the main batch. Then I added 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese to the main batch and two into mine. I added all the spices - roughly 1/2 teaspoon of each for the main batch - salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (I used garlic salt and a pizza herb seasoning blend in mine). I mixed it all together - and to the main batch added Italian bread crumbs - maybe about 1/2 cup. Mine got no bread crumbs, and they held up just as firm as the others.
I picked up walnut sized balls of the meat mixture and pressed a 1/2 inch cube of mozzarella cheese into the center. Then I covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator. This wasn't part of the recipe, but I didn't want to mess with making meatballs on Sunday morning. There's never enough time then anyway. On Sunday morning, I popped them into the crock pot (gently :) and poured a can of spaghetti sauce over the top of the meatballs and turned the crock pot on high. They cooked about 4 hours before we had lunch, then stayed on "keep warm" all day and my husband and older boys had them again for dinner. We still had 11 left over after that, so I froze them, and have been told to "definitely" make them again.