Porcupine Meatballs shouts out Comfort Food and it’s prefect during the cold Canadian winters we experience each and every year.  I know what you’re thinking 🤔 Is this ground meat from an actual porcupine? 

Answer is : NO 

I’m not sure where the term originally came from, but it’s definitely NOT porcupine meat.  Got its name from the mixed rice within the ground beef. 

Depending on the home cook, there’s tons of different styles of Porcupine Meatballs, as there is with the type of sauce. However, the original porcupine meatball is in a homemade tomato 🍅 sauce. 

Please enjoy my style of Porcupine Meatballs —

                         
PORCUPINE MEATBALLS by Chef Bari 

Preparing the Homemade Tomato Sauce from scratch ( if you like to skip this part, you can buy some rich tomato sauce 🥫 from Costco or your favourite Supermarket. My favourite tomato sauce is “Newman’s Own Organic Tomato and Basil. If you’re adventurous, make your own sauce from scratch, like I did : 

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce 

  • 4 fresh medium sized tomatoes 
  • 2 large cans of whole stewed tomatoes 
  • 1 medium can of diced tomato 🍅 
  • 5 fresh garlic cloves 
  • 1 small bunch of fresh Basil 🌿 
  • 1 small bunch of Oregano 🌿 
  • 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil 
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste 

Optional: 1/2 cup Red Wine 

  • 1 large sweet white onion – medium chopped
  • 2 fresh red peppers – medium chopped 
  • 1 jar of roasted red bell peppers 

Method:  Place all the above ingredients ( except the sugar, olive oil, onions and peppers) into a blender and blend. You may have to do this in two turns, depending on the size of your blender. 

In a roasting pan under medium heat, drizzle virgin olive oil. 

Add chopped sweet white onion and fresh red peppers 🌶 and sugar. Optional : 1/2 cup Red Wind. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. 

Pour in Tomato purée mixture.  Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a slow boil. Turn down heat and let sauce cook, simmering for one hour.  Stir every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon. 

While you’re waiting for the tomato sauce to cook, it’s time to prepare the Porcupine Meatballs—

Ingredients for the Porcupine Meatballs 

  • 1 package Ground Turkey ( 580 g / 1 lb )
  • 1 package of ground beef ( 600 g/  1.5 lbs)
  • 1 cup of rice ( I prefer Basmati rice myself/ Do not use sticky rice) 
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning 
  • 2 teaspoon of Salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of Black pepper 

Method: Mix all the above ingredients and form into small meatballs. Place in the fridge while you wait for your tomato sauce. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 

Once your tomato sauce is ready, add your raw meatballs into the sauce, completely covered in the sauce. Stir gently about and place in the oven and let it cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  This also gives the tomato sauce to cook even more. 

Voila !  Take out one Porcupine Meatball and cut in half to ensure it’s full cooked. The rice must also be fully cooked throughout. If you want more tomato sauce ( most of the sauce will be absorbed) you can heat up more tomato sauce 🥫 to use to compliment pasta. However the Porcupine Meatballs are a meal in itself. You don’t really need all those carbohydrates. Mind you, I love a warm crusty French Bread to dip with. 

I hope you enjoy my latest Home-Sweet-Home Comfort Food Recipe. Please support my efforts by buying my cookbook “ Canadian Recipes of the Great White North”  I truly appreciate it ! 

Thank you, 

Chef Bari 

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