After all that holiday cooking and baking I think it’s nice to have a bit of a a lazy recipe on hand. A couple of weeks ago I was rushed coming home from running errands and didn’t feel like cooking something elaborate. I had some ground beef in the fridge and wanted something quick. I’ve been curious about this recipe for Porcupine Balls that I found in the Company’s Coming “The Essential Guy’s Cookbook” in the “food your kids will actually eat” section! Apparently, it was a popular family meal in the 70’s and 80’s so I decided to give it a shot, but modify it for a busy weeknight. I cooked the rice and meat separately, added some yellow pepper to up the veggie content, then simmered everything in the tomato sauce to create a kind of chili. It wasn’t gourmet but it was very comforting and strangely addictive. I polished off a bowl and a half! I’ll keep this recipe in my back pocket for lazy winter days. 🙂 The original recipe for meatballs is also below.
Deconstructed Porcupine Meatballs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 – 1 onion)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water, or more as needed
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Cook your rice according to the package directions.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add meat, onions, salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Beat the meat up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle. (About 15-20 minutes) Drain any excess grease.
Pour the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet with the meat mixture; add cooked rice and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce deepens in colour. Stir in water if it becomes too dry. Plate and serve.
Original meatballs recipe:
- Mix the ground beef, rice, 1/2 cup water, onion, salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Roll the mixture into 12 meatballs.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the meatballs. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned. Drain and discard any excess grease. Pour the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, and Worcestershire sauce into the skillet; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in more water if the sauce becomes too dry.