Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Family Friendly Cooking: Porcupine Meatballs

Here's a recipe that's not only delicious, but fun for kiddos of all ages.  They are essentially meatballs with uncooked long grain rice mixed in, so when cooked, the rice swells and pokes out like little porcupine quills.  I used a sauce similar to the piquant sauce I put on my meatloaf, which results in a nice sweet & sour flavor.  My mom used to make them using spaghetti sauce, I think... I really just remember how cute and fun they were.  No matter how you make them, they are sure to be a hit!  Here's how Mama makes 'em:

Porcupine Meatballs


- 1 lb. lean ground beef, uncooked
- 1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 c. uncooked long grain rice
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. pepper
- 1 1/2 c. ketchup
- 1/4 c. mustard
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. chicken stock
- 1 t. dried thyme

1.   In a medium-large bowl, combine the ground beef, chopped onion, rice, water, salt and pepper.

never too soon to start cooking with Mama!
this is how you cook with
a crazy, curious, mobile baby!
(not to mention, she LOVES being in a carrier)

2.  Use a spoon to mix the ingredients around a bit, then dive on in with your hands - it really is the best way to mix these up.

knead until all ingredients are incorporated evenly

3.  Form mixture into 12-16 meatballs, roughly the size of a golf ball.

4.  In a large skillet, combine ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, stock, and thyme over medium-high heat. 

5.  Stir well to combine (a silicone whisk would work well here, too).  Add thyme, bring to a boil, then add the meatballs.

6.  Coat meatballs in sauce, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

look at these adorable little critters!

how cute are they?!

7.  Allow mixture to simmer, uncovered, for a few minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.

all done! 
looks & smells delicious!
not to mention the yummy taste!

I cut some up for Peanut so they could cool

eventually, she loved them
(but let's be honest, she always goes for the cheese first!)
she also really liked the cut up snap peas I served with them

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