Porcupine Meatballsn Tomato Sauce

Porcupine meatballs in tomato sauce recipe 1/2 cup long grain rice 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup onion, chopped 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1 pound ground beef 2 tablespoons oil 1 can tomato sauce (large can) 1 cup water 2 tablespoons brown. Stir tomato sauce and water together in a large pot; Bring too a boil.

Today we are going way back! Porcupine meatballs may have been part of your childhood like they were mine! These delicious morsels never go out of style and they are definitely a delicious change of pace! Perfect for cooler months but wonderful anytime you want a taste of home. These are simple and made with few ingredients so the pure flavors shine through. These meatballs use rice as the binder and they cook in a delicious tomato sauce that has an unexpected ingredient! I know that you and your family will love these!

Be aware, that no porcupines were hurt in the making of this recipe! Seriously though, they are called porcupines because when the rice cooks in the sauce the meatballs look prickly. Thus the prickly name! It's all in good fun though and in the end you will have a delicious, stick to your ribs meal just like your mom or grandmother used to make!

This all starts with some ground meat. I am using a combination of beef and pork, but you should use what you like, whether it be all beef, all pork, chicken turkey or other. There is no wrong choice here. The ground meat is blended with simple spices and a good portion of uncooked rice. I prefer to use par-cooked or par-boiled rice which can also be referred to as converted rice. This rice takes 25% less liquid to fully cook and approximately 25% less time to be done. To moisten the meat mixture I like to add some tomato juice. You can use water or broth if you prefer. The tomato juice adds a great zip to the meatballs in the end.

The meatballs will cook in a sauce which will help to hydrate the rice to perfection and lend great flavor throughout. This is done with some petite diced tomatoes with their juice along with a family size can of condensed tomato soup! If you only have small cans of tomato soup, use three of them. I also like to have lots of sauce and would normally add two of the cans of tomato soup but I only had one this time. In the end it worked out fine.

The meatballs are formed and tossed into the casserole dish with the blended sauce mixture. I cover this with a layer of parchment as well as some foil and bake until done, about 1 hour or so. Oven performance can vary so you will need to test yours to make sure both the rice and the meat are cooked to perfection. Once done, allow the casserole dish to rest for about 30 minutes before serving. This will allow the rice to steam a little longer and allow everything to calm down before eating.

We like to serve this with mashed potatoes and a salad or vegetable on the side. You do what you like most. I serve mashed potatoes because that is how it was served growing up. Cabbage rolls were served the same way and I love it! This would be great with noodles or just a veg on the side. Your choice.

These porcupine meatballs are also a great option for freezer banking. You should cook completely and allow to cool before freezing. This is one time where you will hear me recommend cooking prior to freezing that way when you reheat all you are doing is heating through and not worrying about cooking thoroughly. Once cooled, wrap tightly and seal in a large zip top bag. Mark with a sharpie and freeze for up to three months.

Upon reheating from frozen cook for 1 hour at 400 degrees or 40 minutes if fully thawed. If freezing I recommend also adding a bit more water to the mixture just to be sure that it does not all get absorbed in the process.

I hope that you give these old fashioned porcupine meatballs a try sometime soon and I hope you love them!

Happy Eating!

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