We really really really REALLY hate it when a recipe says "use shop-bought X". Why spend the time cooking an amazing meal, if you're then going to ruin it by throwing shop-bought goodness-knows-what full of who-knows-what preservatives and other unknowns? Do you really want to eat something you can't pronounce?

![How to make meatballs for the Slow Cooker]/images/blog/how_make_meatballs_for_the_slow_cooker.png)

In the first of our "Home-Made Is Best!" series of posts, we show you how to make the king of slow cooker recipe ingredients - the meatball. Meatballs are so unbelievably versatile; eat them with pasta and a tomato sauce, smash up an amazing Meatball Ragu, cook up an spicy Albongidas Stew, or even funk up a Carbonara with pork sausage meatballs (a la Jamie Oliver!).

This meatball recipe is about as simple as it gets - it tastes great, but won't overpower whatever you put them into. If you're pushed for time they can be prepared the day before, and kept in the fridge until required. The fattier meat you use, the more moist and tender the meatballs will be, and vice-versa with leaner meat.

Slow Cooker Meatballs


  • 400g beef steak mince
  • 1 finely chopped medium onion
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Splash Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Few cracks freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients until well combined. To test the seasoning, pinch off a small piece of meat and fry until cooked in a hot pan. Taste it, then add more salt and pepper if required.
  2. Roll the mixture into even meatballs, 4cm in diameter. Wet your hands before rolling the meatballs to prevent them sticking to your hands!
  3. Brown the meatballs in a hot pan, ensuring that you turn them and that they're browned evenly all over. Do not be tempted to skip the browning stage - this stops them ending up as a meaty mush in the bottom of your slow cooker!

Recipe Ideas

  • [Slow Cooker Meatball Ragu]/recipes/beef/slow-cooker-beef-ragu) - Substitute the beef shin with meatballs
  • [Slow Cooker Orange Glazed Meatballs]/recipes/beef/slow-cooker-orange-glazed-meatballs)
  • [Slow Cooker Bolognese with meatballs]/recipes/beef/slow-cooker-spaghetti-bolognese) - Substitute the beef with meatballs and use the "throw everything in" method