I often ask Owen what he really enjoys for lunch at child care (he has a on-site cook who prepares scratch-made lunches which feed more like dinners). I'm usually surprised he doesn't say something like pizza. Instead he tells us he loves chili and Spanish rice. Knowing this, when I stumbled upon Slow-Cooker Spanish Meatballs in the May 2011 issue of Everyday Food magazine, I was inspired to give them a go.
Anytime I see a slow cooker as the method of cooking I immediately think, “ah - piece of cake”. What usually happens is I realize it’s a slow cooker day first thing in the morning and end up struggling to do all the prep in amongst the mayhem of our mornings. With Nuno now starting work at 7am out of town, it’s no easy feat prepping dinner, wrangling the dog (in this case 2 since we are dog sitting) in a muddy backyard in the pouring rain, getting myself and Owen out the door – all before 8am. Anyone want to switch morning routines with me? I almost croaked when I read that these meatballs needed to sear before entering the slow cooker, but I was too far along to turn back. I mean, who doesn’t love arriving to work smelling of fried meat, ugh. The recipe calls for ground pork but we love buying a triple mix of beef, pork & veal (tastes best and our butcher makes it super-lean). Paprika is generally an underused spice for us, but a really nice flavour in these meatballs. I knew the inconvenience would be worth it in the end, and they were pretty good. The house smelled fantastic walking in at 5:30pm. And when it’s chilly and rainy, meatballs are a wonder comfort food. But with all the reward of this dinner, I really feel it’s best to think about/work on dinner in the evening and forget it as a morning task.