"These are great to make ahead of time and then freeze. We freeze them with mashed potatoes and corn as part of a homemade TV dinner." — Tara
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lean ground beef
uncooked white rice
ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can
One important ingredient left out of this recipe is eggs, by adding an egg or two the meatballs will be less likely to fall apart. Also you don't have to use the oven to cook them. We'd just simmer ours (covered) on low heat for around 40 minutes in the same skillet that they were browned in, adding more liquid as needed. You can also transfer them to a crockpot after browning them. As far as seasoning, it was always what was on hand. On day they might be cooked with canned tomatoes, the next with a mushroom sauce or brown gravy. My Dad used to cook us porcupine meatballs often when I was growing up, and I had all but forgot about them until I came across this recipe. Grandpa used to tell my Dad that this recipe was "good home cooking" when they were children, and that still holds true today.
My daughter usually loves porcupine balls. I didn't have any tomato soup like I normally use though, so I decided to try this recipe. I prefer the soup, I think it has a better taste. I know several complained about the rice. I have found after several tries you have to use either pre-cooked rice or instant rice. I prefer the pre-cooked, but either will work. I left the water out so I didn't have the issue of my meatballs falling apart, but they were also a little dry.
I would recommend Zesty Porcupine Balls also from this site instead of this recipe. So far, I think they are the best. The sauce on this one tasted too much like plain tomato sauce, it really needs some spice.
Have used this recipe for years and love it. I always use canned mushroom soup instead of tomato. I never brown the meatballs just put them in dish and cover with sauce. Then cook 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. Yummy!
Porcupines was one of the first recipes I learned as a new bride, over 35 years ago. I believe the original recipe was like this one, but I have modified it to give it more flavor and "zing." The first modification I made was to use instant rice. It seems to "glue" the porcupines together better, so no eggs or bread is needed. I also add diced green pepper to the meatball mixture. After placing the porcupines in the baking dish, I top with 2 can of Rotel with juice, eliminating the need for water. Just before removing from the oven, I sprinkle on cheese (sharp cheddar is our favorite, but use whatever suits your tastebuds) and return to the oven just until cheese melts. I make these for company all the time and everyone always asks for the recipe.
This recipe originally came from the Betty Crocker recipe library, but the worcestershire sauce is left out. That is why is sauce is so bland. You must add 2 teaspoons full to the water/tomatoe sauce mixture. Also, these do not have to be browned first. Just bake, covered until the rice is done, then uncover for the remainder of the cooking time. These really are good when made right.
Love this recipe with mashed potatoes and green beans!! I use leftover rice for this dish, because it just didn't get done if cooked in the lean meatballs. And you have to cover the dish with foil or the rice that's sticking out will get crispy !! I don't brown the meatballs before baking them, they will fully cook in the oven, and not fall apart. I pour the tomato sauce over it during the last part of baking. Just season these like you would a meatloaf or hamburgers. Really good !!
I have to tell you, I giggled all during dinner last night, my family gobbled this up!!! They only do that when I make spaghetti and meatballs.
As for the recipe, it was fantastic! I doubled it and I did make a couple of modifications, I used 1 lb gr beef and 1 lb Italian sausage, omitted the celery seed - instead used 1 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. I also used a red onion.
Awesome recipe and a huge hit with my family!
We LOVED these.
I did add an extra can of tomato sauce to cover the meatballs and added about a TBS or so of worcheshire sauce to that. I did find out the bigger meatballs that did not get all the way covered the rice did not get soft. These heat up very well the next day for meatball sandwiches. We used the Peppridge Farm soft hoagie rolls and they were excellant with the leftovers!!!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/5 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 5
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 275
** Calories from Fat: 115
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