From the recipe’s name, you must have guessed that this recipe – Porcupine Meatballs – was made on a pressure cooker. But contrary to your thought, the meatballs were not actually made out of porcupines.
You might wonder, why Porcupine Meatballs when they ain’t really made from Porcupine?
Well, they are called Porcupine because when the grains of rice get mixed with the meatballs, they poke out while simmering, thereby resembling spines on a porcupine.
So, Porcupine meatballs are a mixture of cooked, well combined, small ball-size shaped ground beef and white rice; that is coated in a savory tomato sauce. Cooking Porcupine Meatballs in a pressure cooker makes it very easy to prepare. However, you can also make it on a stovetop too. Although cooking the meatballs to perfection can be quite difficult.
Nevertheless, to be fair with those who love meatballs but do not have a pressure cooker, we’ve prepared a guide for you too.
Therefore, to prepare a tender and juicy Porcupine Meatballs, let’s start by first making our meatballs.
To make your meatballs, combine the beef, rice, salt, pepper, chopped onions (remaining half for the tomato sauce) and garlic, in a large mixing bowl. Divide the mixture and shape into small ball-sized meatballs about one and a half inches and set aside.
Now, let’s proceed to the next step – which is making your tomato sauce. You’ll need to first sauté your onion and garlic before stirring in the tomato sauce.
To sauté, on your pressure cooker, select the “Sauté” program and add oil to the pot. After that, add the remaining chopped onions and garlic to the pot and sauté for about five minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Then stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Let this warm until it comes to a simmer.
Then drop the meatballs into the sauce mixture gently, spooning the sauce over the top of each meatball. Securely cover the pressure cooker with a lid and set the pressure regulator to the “Sealing” position. Cancel the Saute mode and cook at high pressure by selecting the “Manual” bottom, and setting the time to 15 minutes.
Note: It takes about 10 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Therefore the total time from the sealing of the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about 25 minutes.
Let the pressure drop at its own accord – by natural pressure release – which takes about 20 minutes. Or perform a quick pressure release by moving the vent from Sealing to Venting. Either way is okay.
Open your pressure cooker when you’re ready to serve, and you’ll find your Porcupine Meatballs smiling at you.
However, if you don’t own a pressure cooker, prepare your porcupine meatballs on the stovetop.
Prepare your meatballs using the instructions above. Now, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté your onions and garlic. Add tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water; and simmer.
When the sauce is just starting to simmer, place the meatballs into the simmering sauce, and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 45 minutes, or until meatballs are well cooked.
You can serve with some sauce over them, and it sure goes well with crusty bread and salad.
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