I always have some extra minced meat in the freezer, in case I do not have any ideas what to make for diner. Dinners are special for me, as it is the only time when all my family gets together. So, I try to make something delicious to make the time more pleasant. And porcupine meatballs in tomato sauce are the recipe for the occasion. They are delicious and juicy, full of flavor and texture.
Do you know why I like classic recipes? You can experiment with them as much as you want. Choose the type of grain you want to add, have it precooked or add it raw. You can even choose the way you can cook meatballs: in a crockpot, on the stove or in the oven. I like to bake porcupine meatballs, as leaves you more free time to make a perfect garnish for the dinner. What do I serve with porcupine meatballs? Well, starting with simple rotini pasta, any grain, and my favorite mashed potatoes.
Ingredients for Baked Porcupine Meatballs:
- 500 g minced meat (ground pork or beef);
- 100 g raw rice;
- 2 onions;
- 2 carrots;
- 2 tbsps. olive oil;
- 1 egg;
- 2-3 garlic cloves;
- 4 tbsps. sour cream;
- 2 tbsps. tomato paste;
- 250 ml water (or broth);
- 1 tsp. sugar;
- salt, pepper to taste.
How to cook meatballs with rice and tomato sauce in the oven:
- Let’s cook rice first. We do not need it to be fully cooked for the recipe so take 1 cup of water for 1 cup of rice. Add a small pinch of salt when boiling rice.
- Combine rice with minced meat in a large mixing bowl (let rice to cool down to room temperature, you also can rinse it under cold running water for the purpose).
- Grate carrots and chop onions.
- Sauté vegetables until tender in the skillet on medium heat.
- Half of the sautéed vegetables add to the bowl (as always let them cool down a bit). Beat an egg into the bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper and mix ingredients thoroughly.
- Add tomato paste, sour cream to remaining sautéed vegetables in the skillet. Pour broth or water to mixture and combine everything together. Do not forget to stir the sauce while it’s heating up. Let it simmer for 5 minutes at least. Season the sauce to your taste by adjusting the amount of added sugar, salt and pressed garlic.
- Shape meatballs from the mixture using your hands or a meatball maker. Put them on the baking tray. Place them not so close to each other.
- Pour tomato sauce into the tray carefully, try not to touch meatballs while add sauce as it can deform the balls.
- Bake porcupine meatballs uncovered for 50 minutes at 180°C/350°F.
- Garnish with chopped fresh herbs before serving. Enjoy!
Hope that my recipe was helpful and you have learned how to make meatballs step by step. The recipe is easy enough. It does not require any special skills and perfect as a make-ahead meal. Tomato sauce with sour cream goes perfectly with this type of meatballs. But as usual you can always add your favorite type of sauce.
If you tried to make my meatballs with cooked rice in tomato paste recipe at home, share your experience in the comment section below.