It’s a rainy day outside (rare in southern Arizona), my babies are BOTH napping, I’ve got some relaxing classical piano music playing…. Just the right moment to throw together one of my favorite comfort foods for dinner later today, Porcupine Meatballs. My neighbor made these for us once, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s a fabulous make-ahead meal, too, since it freezes well.
The flavors are rich and savory without being super intense, so it’s a great meal for all ages. And, from my own personal experience on the receiving end, it is the perfect meal to take to someone who is sick, just had a baby, or is in need of a helping hand. Let’s take the plunge! In about 40 minutes, including prep time, you can dig in to a deeply satisfying meal.
For the meatballs:
1lb ground beef
1/3-1/2 c finely minced onion
¾ c instant brown rice, uncooked
1 tsp salt
¼ c condensed tomato soup
For the sauce:
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 can water
1 Tbsp mustard
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Thoroughly mix meat, onion, rice, salt, ¼ c soup, and egg.
Use a scoop or a spoon to make evenly sized meatballs. This little devil will make things so much easier!
Making meatballs and cookies before getting this scoop was a draaaaag, but now it’s a cinch. Bing bang cablammo!
Heat a skillet over medium heat with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in it.
I’m scooping my meatballs straight into the skillet, but you can always scoop them onto some wax paper or something.
This meal is great to freeze–just make extra and pop a bunch of meatballs on a lined cookie sheet, put it in the freezer till the meat is frozen, and then transfer them to a Ziploc bag. If you keep a can of tomato soup on hand, you can whip these babies up in no time on a day when you don’t feel like cooking. I’ve done this a couple of times and it is fantastic!
Once the meatballs start to brown, gently roll them over to start cooking the other side.
Before they are cooked through, remove them to a plate and cook up the next batch if you still have meatballs to cook. Cook, cook, cook. Otherwise, proceed!
In a bowl, combine the remaining whole and partial can (from which we stole ¼ c for the meat mixture) of condensed soup with the mustard and water.
Set aside for a moment.
Add a couple of minced cloves of garlic to the pan with the meatballs and gently stir, for about a minute.
We really don’t want that garlic to brown and get bitter.
Add in the tomato soup mixture . . .
cover, and let simmer for a good 20-25 min.
I usually let mine simmer longer (about an hour), because I like the sauce to be more reduced. Taste the sauce and add salt or pepper as you see fit. I generally don’t add any extra salt. since the soup has plenty on its own.
Your house will be filled with a delicious, homey, mouth-watering aroma.
Man, is this comforting! I like to serve this dish alongside a baked potato, salad, and with sour cream or plain greek yoghurt to dip the meatballs in- strange perhaps, but it takes them to a whole other level!
They may not be so beautiful to look at, but these little uggos will make your taste-buds throw a party. A happy, comforting, warm-soak-in-the-tub-on-a-cold-rainy-day sort of a party.
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