This recipe was born out of my love for crockpot cooking and Thai cuisine. This is one of those recipes you keep on using time and time again because is easy to prepare and everybody loves it!
Thai basil or cinnamon basil is aromatically like anise or licorice because of the scent and taste. It’s widely used in Southeast Asian cooking. It’s one of the most important ingredients in Thai curries and it also plays a big role in Vietnamese cuisine.
Thai basil has small and narrow leaves with purple stems and pink-purple flowers. Thai basil herb is antioxidants and it contains vitamins and minerals, vitamins include A, C, and E.
The easiest way to make the meatballs is to use your hands to roll a chunk of the ground beef about an inch diameter. Make sure to lightly oil your hands, to avoid the meat mixture sticking to your skin.
Whenever possible, I try to use organic and grass-fed beef. The taste and health benefits of organic meats are vastly superior when compared to regular meat.
The taste of sweet basil is so mild that it can be eaten raw by adding it to a salad.
You can serve the meatballs with your favourite pasta noodles. They are also great as an appetizer. I normally serve them with dried sweet potato noodles.
- 3 lbs. ground beef
- 2 cups of finely chopped Thai basil
- 4 cloves of minced fresh garlic
- 1 cup finely chopped red onion or a few shallots
- 3 eggs
- 3 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. tapioca flour
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese, optional
- extra cheese for serving
- 1 can of ground tomato (800 ml or 28 oz)
- ¼ cup olive oil or unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar, optional
- Combine all the meatballs ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in the crockpot and mix well.
- Using your hands, make meatballs about an inch diameter and place them directly into the crockpot. Make sure to lightly oil your hands, to avoid the meat mixture sticking to your skin.
- Set the crockpot to low and cook for 6-8 hours, if you are going to leave it unattended. If you are going to be home, set the crockpot to high heat for 2 hours and then cook in low heat for another 2 to 3 hours. In either case, make sure to stir the meatballs at least once to prevent them from sticking together.
- Add extra salt and pepper if needed for the final taste.