Creamy Meatballs and Gravy

My Grandma Inez shows her love through her cooking, and she’s always excited for our family to try new things she makes. One slow cooker dish she makes quite often—and that we all love—are her meatballs and gravy. Because the recipe calls for so much mayonnaise and packets of gravy mix, I decided to use the paleo-friendly kind (use good oil!) and a blend of seasonings and tapioca flour to thicken the gravy. It worked like a charm. The meatballs have a lot of flavor from the Italian sausage, and they’re coated in a smooth, richly flavored gravy. You’ll love these. And I think my grandma would, too.

Prep time 30 minutes
Serves 6

11/2 pounds (680 g) ground beef
1/2 pound (225 g) bulk hot Italian sausage
1 cup (160 g) finely chopped onion
1 egg
3/4 cup (188 g) blanched almond flour
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
Coconut oil or avocado oil, for cooking
3 cups (710 ml) beef broth
3/4 cup (175 g) Paleo-Friendly Mayonnaise
11/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut aminos
3 tablespoons (24 g) tapioca flour
2 teaspoons (22 g) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (30 g) tomato paste
Cauliflower Rice, Squash Noodles, or “Baked” Sweet Potatoes, for serving

1 Combine the ground beef, sausage, onion, egg, almond flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix everything with your hands (without squeezing it in your fists), form it into tight, 11/2-inch (3.5 cm) balls, and transfer them to a large plate.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) of beef broth next to the stove. Sear the meatballs on a couple of sides, working in two batches. Add more oil between batches, if necessary. Transfer the meatballs to a 4-quart (3.8 liter) slow cooker. While the pan is still hot, pour the 1/2 cup (120 ml) of broth into the pan and scrape the browned bits from the bottom. Pour the contents of the pan into the slow cooker with the meatballs.
3 Combine the remaining 21/2 cups (570 ml) beef broth, mayonnaise, onion powder, coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, tapioca flour, mustard, and tomato paste into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
4 Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
5 Serve with desired side dish.