From my beloved Aunt Beth, I think, though this has long been a family favorite and I'm not really sure quite which aunt originated it. Regardless, this is classic potluck food and a big favorite with kids and grownups. They freeze beautifully-since the recipe as written makes 2 pans, it's nice to eat one now and freeze one for later (that office potluck you forgot about until 10 o'clock the night before). I like to double the sauce to have extra to serve over rice or potatoes, but the dish is really good as written.
*3 Lbs ground beef
*2 cups quick oats
*1 tsp pepper
*2 tsp minced garlics (about two cloves' worth), divided
*1 13 oz can evaporated milk (low fat would work fine)
*1 1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
*2 cups ketchup
*2 eggs, beaten
*2 tsp chili powder (note: this is not intended to be a spicy dish. Know your chili powder well; if it's spicy, you might want to reduce this amount)
*2 tsp salt
*1 1/2 cups brown sugar
*2 Tbsp liquid smoke (really, this is essential. It's cheap and it's awesome in this dish).
-Preheat oven to 350.
-Use your hand to blend meat, oats, milk, 1 cup of onion, 1/2 the garlic, eggs, chili powder, salt and pepper in large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Shape into 1 1/2" balls and place in single layer in 2 9"x13" baking dishes.
-Combine ketchup, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and remaining garlic and onion. Pour over meatballs.
-Bake for an hour, covered with foil for the first half.