My grandparents came to stay with my three younger siblings and 11-year-old me while our parents were out of town for a few days on business. Weren’t we surprised when my grandma announced that we were having Porcupine Meatballs for dinner! Wow, with a name like that, what kid wouldn’t be intrigued! Dinner, of course, was a hit.
Rice is in these meatballs, and the rice pokes out of the meatballs during the cooking process, giving the meatballs their spiny appearance, and hence their name. Even today, announcing to my family that Porcupine Meatballs are for dinner seems rather playful and brings a fond memory of my grandparents to mind.
The sauce originally called for Worcestershire sauce, but I prefer to substitute chili powder. If you prefer Worcestershire sauce, or some other seasoning, feel free to substitute.
These meatballs can be formed up to a day ahead of time and then refrigerated until baking. I like to use the leanest ground beef possible (that’s right…no actual porcupine meat) to minimize the grease…especially since many in my family like to spoon the sauce over their accompanying mashed potatoes.
Steamed cabbage and mashed potatoes are a nice way to serve this hearty meal.
- 1-pound lean ground beef
- ½ cup uncooked white rice
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp granulated garlic
- 1-15 ounce can, tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp chili powder
Mix ingredients together. Form into balls, the size of walnuts or larger. Place in a lightly greased baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together, and pour over the meatballs. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes; remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Serves 4-6.