Slow Cooked Teriyaki Meatballs

Slow Cooked Teriyaki Meatballs

Oh the illustrious meatball. I never thing to make them but I always think about eating them. Especially at parties when they are on the other end of a toothpick. Since no one ever invites me to parties anymore (kidding), I decided the Drink and Spoon lonely hearts club would just make meatballs for themselves – deal with that, world. The next thing I did was research teriyaki sauce. Traditionally it’s made with rice wine, which I obviously wasn’t going to use. This is a site devoted to beer, after all. I thought of a few ways I could be inventive – Stout teriyaki? Chili beer teriyaki? I wasn’t too sure how any of these would turn out and I was hungry so I went to the store hoping to find inspiration. When I walked in the building (Highlands Wine and Liquor), the cooler doors magically opened up and angels began to sing. Curious about how this could happen outside of a movie, I walked towards the noise to see what the beer gods were revealing to me. There it was:  a Japanese rice beer, Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale, tucked away in the bottom right corner.  I quickly grabbed it, along with a few other things (#yolo) and went home to get cookin’. A mess of a kitchen + about 5 hours later, teriyaki meatballs were born and they. were. glorious.





Teriyaki Sauce:

½  cup brown sugar

3 garlic cloves – minced or pressed

3 tsp ginger, minced

½ cup Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

1 cup soy sauce



1 ½ lbs ground beef (80/20)

2 eggs

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1 ½ tsp crushed red pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 small yellow onion, chopped into very small pieces


You will need a slow cooker of some sort.



In a pot, combine all the teriyaki sauce ingredients and stir on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. To actually get the stuff you need from the ginger, you can use a spoon to scrape away the skin and then you can mince it.




Whip the eggs together in a small bowl. Then, it’s time to get messy so you may or may not want to grab some gloves. In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients and trust me, you’re going to have to use your hands if you want it done right.






Once you feel that you’ve smashed enough meat through your fingers, start shaping the mix into balls. Mine were slightly larger than your average golf ball and I got about 19 so I’d say you should have 18-20.



Pour the teriyaki sauce into the slow cooker and then add your meatballs. I almost fit all of them around the bottom but a few had to be stacked on top – it was totally fine.


imageSince you should have most of that beer left over, go ahead and throw that in the slow cooker as well. I mean, this is Drink and Spoon and if there is left over beer we are either going to drink it or cook with it.


I let my meatballs simmer in the pot on high for 4 hours (I was starving). You could cook them on low for 6-8 and they might be even better, who knows? When they are finished – serve them however you’d like. If they aren’t going to be brought to a party, they would probably go great with some herbed rice or a creamy dill dipping sauce. You decide and if you come up with something great, let me know!






For great beer finds in the Denver area, visit Highlands Wine and Liquor


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A 20-something living in Denver, attempting to whip up delicious recipes made with or paired with mostly local craft brews. If you like eating and drinking delicious things, this is the place to be.

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