Today, we’re revisiting a classic that’s guaranteed to win hearts at your dinner table: Porcupine Meatballs.
Simple, cost-effective, and mouth-wateringly good, these meatballs are made with lean ground beef and infused with uncooked long grain rice, which not only adds texture but also gives them their distinctive ‘porcupine’ appearance.
Combined with a blend of spices and simmered in a rich tomato sauce, this dish is a testament to the magic that happens when simplicity meets flavor. Perfect for busy weeknights or a cozy family dinner, this recipe is more than just a meal; it’s a memory in the making.
Let’s get cooking and turn a classic into your new family favorite!
How to Prepare Porcupine Meatballs
Begin by assembling all the necessary ingredients. This ensures a smooth and efficient cooking process.
Making the Meatballs:
In a mixing bowl, combine the lean ground beef, uncooked long grain white rice, water, chopped onion, kosher salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper. Mix everything together thoroughly until it’s uniformly blended. Once mixed, shape the mixture into 12 evenly sized meatballs.
Browning the Meatballs:
Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs. Allow them to cook, turning them once to ensure even browning, for about 8 minutes. After they’re nicely browned, remove any excess grease by draining it off.
Simmering the Sauce:
Next, add the tomato sauce, low sodium chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and granulated sugar into the skillet with the meatballs. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and let the meatballs simmer. This should take about 45 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked through and the rice inside them is tender. Keep an eye on the sauce as the meatballs cook; if it starts to dry out, stir in a bit more chicken stock to maintain the desired consistency.
Once the meatballs are cooked, they’re ready to serve. This dish pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides, from mashed potatoes to a simple green salad, making it a versatile choice for any meal. Enjoy your homemade Porcupine Meatballs!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup uncooked long grain white rice
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock or more as needed
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Combine the lean ground beef, uncooked long grain white rice, water, chopped onion, kosher salt, celery salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Ensure the ingredients are mixed well. Form this mixture into 12 equally sized meatballs.
- In a large skillet, warm the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet, cooking them and turning once to ensure even browning, for approximately 8 minutes. After browning, remove any surplus grease by draining it.
- Next, add the tomato sauce, low sodium chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and granulated sugar to the skillet with the meatballs. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the skillet and allow the meatballs to simmer until they are fully cooked in the center and the rice is soft, which should take around 45 minutes. If necessary, add more chicken stock to keep the sauce from becoming too thick.
Storing Porcupine Meatballs
Proper storage is key to enjoying your Porcupine Meatballs even after the initial meal. Here’s how you can keep them fresh and delicious:
Allow the meatballs to cool to room temperature before storing. It’s important not to leave them out for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth.
Place the meatballs in an airtight container. If you have sauce leftover, you can either store it separately in another container or keep the meatballs immersed in it. This can help the meatballs stay moist. Refrigerated, they will last for up to 3-4 days.
For longer storage, Porcupine Meatballs freeze exceptionally well. Put them in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. If freezing them with the sauce, ensure there’s some space in the container as the sauce will expand when frozen. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to enjoy your meatballs again, they can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. If they were frozen, it’s best to let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. In the microwave, cover them and heat on a medium setting to avoid drying them out. On the stovetop, place them in a pan over medium heat, adding a little water or stock if necessary to keep them moist.
By following these storage tips, you can ensure your Porcupine Meatballs remain a tasty and convenient option for meals to come.