Porcupine meatballs were one of my childhood favorites. It’s hard to imagine anyone NOT liking them. Ground Beef and rice rolled into little balls, simmered in a tomato sauce? Check! They were usually served over yet more rice. I ate the dish often as a kid, served it to my own kids, then forgot about it. What?!? Time to return to one of the best retro dishes, a simple recipe from the 60s!
I started by throwing the ground beef, rice, egg and seasonings into a bowl and mixing them with my hands. You are free to use a spoon if it makes you all squeamish to touch raw meat. It’s much easier with bare hands though. Honest.
I used a small cookie sfcoop to measure the meat into balls. I’m OC about having them all about the same size. When I scoop the meat into balls and place them on a plate, then roll them into balls with my hands, it works for me. Use whatever method works best for you.
Next I mixed the soups, water and Worcestershire in a sepate bowl and poured a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a Dutch oven. I layered the meatballs then poured the remaining sauce over the meatballs. I let the pot come to a bubbling boil over medium high heat.
I occasionally stirred the pot, making sure the meatballs weren’t sticking to the bottom, then replaced the cover.
I prefer to serve the meatballs and sauce on a bed of white rice but time got away from me. I made a small batch of instant potatoes, another of my faves. My P.S. isn’t as much of a fan but hey, they’re ready in like 5 minutes.
I tested a meatball after 45 minutes, to make sure the rice inside it was fully cooked. Yep I’ve undercooked them and had crunchy rice inside at least once. Ok maybe twice. But these meatballs were done, no crispy bits left to ruin the meal.
Delicious! I closed my eyes and savored the food of my childhood. The beef was seasoned well and the sauce was a nice surprise. I’d never tried the new Campbell’s Roasted Pepper Soup and this was a good time for its debut. Lots of flavor, I think I like it more than the plain tomato soup the recipe calls for. I’m eager to try it in other dishes in the future.
But for now, the meal satisfied and I get to have an easily microwavable meal tomorrow with the leftovers! Bonus!
Comfort food simmered to perfection in less than an hour.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup long grain rice
- 1 egg; beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or a teaspoon dried parsley)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can condensed tomato soup (I used Campbell’s roasted red pepper soup)
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce -more rice or mashed potatoes to serve with the meatballs
Combine beef, rice, egg, parsley, onion, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup soup in a bowl. Mix well and shape into about 20 meatballs.
In a separate bowl mix soup, water and Worcestershire sauce. Pour a thin layer of sauce in a Dutch oven. Place meatballs in one layer or two if doubling recipe. Pour remaining sauce over meatballs.
Bring pot to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice or mashed potatoes if desired.