Tender beef meatballs with rice in a rich and delicious tomato sauce - A perfect recipe for the whole family.
Porcupine Beef Meatballs
Despite the name, these delicious meatballs definitely do not contain any porcupine, intead they get their name from because they resemble little porcupine balls from the rice that is combined into the meatball mix.
These are one of my kids favourites. I mean what is not to love about meatballs in a yummy rich sauce. So simple to make an will be a regular feature on your meal plan.
Best Rice For Porcupine Meatballs
I use just basic long grain rice for these meatballs, this is neither Jasmine (a sticky long grain rice) or Basmati which is an extra long grain rice.
Any other rice may mean that the cooking on the meatballs is not quite the same. You definitely don't want to use brown rice because it has much longer cooking time compared to white rice.
Seasoning for Porcupine Meatballs
There is not really any right or wrong for flavouring the meatballs, I keep it simple with garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and tomato paste. But don't be scared to add seasonings to suit your taste. While traditional Porcupine Meatballs tend to keep to the same seasoning, there really isn't any reason why you can't for example add a pinch of cayenne or red chilli flakes if you want to make these spicy.
Can I use other ground meats (mince) for the meatballs?
I only ever use beef for these, but I can't see any reason why pork, chicken or turkey would not work.
The only thing I would be weary of is using a ground meat that is very low in fat, as the meatballs might be a little dry. I tend to not go any less that 4% fat when using ground meat for things like meatballs, burgers or meatloaf.
Sauce For Meatballs
The sauce for the meatballs is really simple. Just a few ingredients the most of us have on hand. For the sauce I use
- Passata (sieved tomatoes)
- Tomate Puree (paste)
- Maple Syrup (it just cuts the acidity, but you can omit or use granulated sweetener if you prefer)
- Balsamic Vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce
- Paprika (the sweet kind, not hot or smoked)
Sides for Meatballs
Because these meatballs contain rice, they are quite filling, so my family likes to enjoy these just a they are in a bowl with a little grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar0 on top and then vegetables on the side.
You can serve these with any vegetables you like, but some of my favourites are:
- Grilled Zucchini
- Roasted Green Beans
- Roasted Asparagus
- Broccoli or Cauliflower
If you prefer a more substantial side, these are great with some mashed potatoes, or a baked potato too.
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