Auntie Mary’s Meatballs (Porcupine Balls)

I said in a past blog that I am not a great meatball maker, which is why I use Harris Teeters turkey meatballs for just about everything. However, I failed to recognize that there is one meatball I can make and they are my Auntie Mary’s Meatballs.

I come from a long line of great female cooks, but more than anything I think it was just luck that I enjoy cooking as much as I do and  have been able to glean what I have. My grandmother and her sisters were always cooking up wonderful things and passed down many great traditions and recipes to their children and so on. These meatballs are just one of them.

Actually, Hubby affectionately refers to these as “salt balls” because once, early in our marriage, I added a whole tablespoon of salt instead of a teaspoon!

Auntie Mary’s Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken

1 large carrot, grated

1 stalk celery, minced

1 onion, minced

1 cup  brown rice, cooked

1 t. salt

1 egg

1 can cream of mushroom soup

water (about 1 can’s worth)

Combine all except soup. Shape into meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake at 400* for about 15 minutes or until outsides are browned. Place meatballs in shallow baking dish in a single layer, combine soup and water (feel free to use 2 cans of soup for a little extra gravy) and pour over meatballs. You want the liquid to just cover the meatballs so add some water if needed. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes or until heated through.

I use my handy-dandy mini processor to mince my veggies super quick. I love this thing 🙂 After the carrots, I throw in the celery and onion for more quick mincing.

Actually, I didn’t have any celery but it came out pretty much the same. You could place the raw meatballs into the baking dish, pour the soup mixture over them and bake for about an hour and a half (uncooked rice, too) but I find these meatballs come out rather mushy. Plus, my general luck ends with crunchy half-cooked rice. You can try it both ways and see what works best.

 

 

 

 

 

Because I like to reduce the amount of “leftovers” I only rolled up 15 balls. This fit my baking sheet perfectly and allowed each of us at least 3 meatballs each, give or take with a few leftover. I’d rather have a couple in the fridge than half a pan, as the larger the “leftovers” the more likely it is to go to waste, or at the very least end up in the freezer.

There was still meatball mixture left over, however. I used my 1 inch melon baller and scooped out mini meatballs. This also made a whole pan (about 1 1/2 dozen) which I baked, then placed into a freezer bag so I’d have some meatballs at the ready for the next recipe.

I had lots of greens left over from my recent veggie box and so it became a veggie-filled dinner. Since the meatballs have rice in them I never like to serve any other starchy sides. So I threw some sweet potatoes in the oven, baked some kale chips, steamed lima beans for the boys, and cooked down a mess of collards, tat soi spinach and bok choy in chicken stock. It was a very green dinner!

These meatballs are super yummy, easy to make, and healthy. You can make them into just about any size, just adjust the cooking time accordingly. I have been known to make them much bigger. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do 🙂

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