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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Porcupine Balls

Casseroles flexible dishes requiring less preparation needed making them the ideal dish for the busy home cook.    Most casserole recipes do not have to be followed exactly.  Slight changes in the amount of the main ingredients will have little effect on the finished casserole.  An appealing aspect of casseroles is they only take a few minutes to put together.  While they are baking your time is freed up to do other things.    Adding to the convenience of casseroles is most of them can be frozen for later use.  I often make two casseroles at a time, popping one into the oven for that night's dinner and the other into the freezer for another night. They are a good way to use up those little bits of leftovers and casserole leftovers reheat well too.

porcupine balls prep
When it comes to casseroles ground beef reigns supreme.  Ground beef is an economical meat choice that lends its well to the use of extenders.  Ground beef can also be shaped into meatballs, patties and loaves adding to the versatility of this inexpensive meat.  For best results, grind lean beef at home or have it ground for you as part of your beef on the hoof or bulk beef purchase.  It is possible to substitute ground pork, turkey, chicken or venison for ground beef in most casserole recipes.

Porcupine balls are tasty meatballs that get their name from the cooked rice sticking out from the surface.  Grated carrot or zucchini can be added to the meat mixture if desired.  They can be baked, cooked in a crockpot or covered frypan.  Once cooked they do freeze well for later use. 

Porcupine Balls

1 lb lean ground beef
½ c uncooked long grain rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
¾ tsp Italian seasoning
2 c (500 ml) jar home canned tomato soup*

Finely chop the onion.  Mix all ingredients except the soup together.  Form the meat mixture into walnut sized meatballs either by hand or using a meatball former.  Place meatballs in a single layer in a baking pan.  Pour the tomato soup over the meatballs.  Cover and bake at 180ºC (350ºF) for 45 minutes.  Remove cover.  Bake an additional 15 minutes.
Yield: 24 meatballs

* If using commercially canned 10 oz soup add ¾ c of water to the soup before pouring over the meatballs.

porcupine balls
The meal pictured consisted of the porcupine balls, baked potatoes and home canned wax beans.  I put two large potatoes in the oven to bake along with the porcupine balls.  This meal would definitely fit into the comfort meal category because it just has that wonderful taste of homemade.  The meatballs are a sure kid pleaser!

My husband said the meatballs tasted a lot like the filling in cabbage rolls and they did.  I found the meatballs a little on the bland side so will be increasing the seasonings the next time I make them.  I will also use home canned roasted tomato soup for a flavour boost.


6 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

Looks good! :)

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Linda :)

ELIZABETE said...

Obrigada pelo carinho da visita!
Te espero mais vezes. Parabéns!
Tenha um lindo dia!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Elizatete and thanks for visiting. I'm glad you enjoyed visiting. Have a great day :)

Julie said...

I made a very similar recipe a few weeks ago except it didn't call for the soup. They turned out great and because there was no sauce, I was able to pull a few meatballs at a time out of the freezer for quick lunches for my kids. I think I might try your version though as the adults in the house prefer a sauce.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Julie :) I'll have to try the porcupine balls without a sauce for the grandkids. That's a great idea. Thanks!