Sunday, May 3, 2015

Porcpines - Old Fashioned Beef & Rice Meatballs (Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free)

Here is another Delicious home-style 
American supper.

I found this old recipe in my recipe box when I was trying to figure out what to make the Missionaries for dinner last night. It has been many long years since I have eaten this dish and I thought it would be fun to serve for a Sunday family dinner.

This recipe is made from scratch but still is very  easy to make. no commercial canned tomato soup here. With this recipe you have more control over your ingredients, which is great for those people who are off sugar and gluten. Canned tomato soup generally has lots of questionable ingredients in it. You may use brown rice or white, but please do not use instant or converted rice

This is a fun recipe because at the start, these look like innocent little meatballs. Part way through the cooking process however, watch out! They turn into prickly porcupines (hence the name). The rice as it cooks, swells and emerges from the meatballs, giving them a spiney texture.

I personally like more sauce, if you do too, make more sauce by increasing the recipe to 1 and 1/2 times the original. ie. 3 cups tomato sauce, 3 T. xylitol, 1 1/2 T Worcestershire, 3/4 t. cinnamon, and 6 whole cloves.

I decided to make some Perfect Baked Potatoes (recipe on this blog) to go along with it. Served along  with a green side salad, it makes a simple yet delicious meal.

Porcupines Recipe:

1 lb organic hamburger
1/2 cup RAW rice (brown Basmatti or Jasmine rice tastes great)
1/4 c. finely minced onion
1/4 c. finely minced sweet red or green bell pepper
1 t. BioSalt or sea salt
1/2 t. celery salt
2 c. tomato juice
2 T. xylitol or Lakanto zero-cal sweetener (or sugar)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. cinnamon
4 whole cloves (or a pinch of ground cloves)
Tapoica starch and water slurry, to thicken if desired (I usually do not use)


Rinse the rice well in a strainer and drain.

Combine the rice with the hamburger, onion, bell pepper, salt, and celery salt. Mashing everything together with your hands works best.

Form into meatballs about 1 1/2-inch in diameter.

Mix the tomato juice with the xylitol, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, and cloves.

Heat the sauce in a skillet and place the meatballs into the sauce.

Cover tightly and simmer 50 minutes, turning meatballs over half way through the cooking time.

After the meatballs are done and the rice is tender, serve them with the juice as-is, or remove the meatballs and thicken the juice with tapioca starch (a corn starch replacement) to make a sauce.

Serve hot.

Note: I find that the rice in the meatballs thickens the sauce enough.

Variation: You may substitute bouillon for tomato juice and spices (not the way I think it tastes best).

My family really liked this dinner, I hope yours will too.