I Like Porcupines. Who Knew??

So I found myself in a little bit of a predicament last night.  It was raining, yet again, and I couldn't bear the thought of dragging Ava out to the grocery store.  Car seats, grocery carts and rain don't mix well :)  Anyway, I had a few things in the fridge that I wanted to use up, so I hopped on and did an ingredient search for some kind of recipe that would work.  I had 1 lb. of hamburger, half an onion, a green pepper and a single potato.  After some choices, I found one that intrigued me.  Apparently it's an old recipe, in the original Betty Crocker cookbook.  There were lots of variations out there, but I tweaked the most common one with what I had. The result?  A surprisingly good dinner!  So, in case you are stuck, with the same ingredients at home, here is something new for you to try :)
May I introduce, the porcupines....


1 lb. hamburger
1/2 C uncooked rice (I cooked my rice because I couldn't imagine it getting done and didn't want to risk it)
1/2 C water (I substituted apple juice for water, simply because I thought I could do better than water!)
2 tsp. worchestershire  (I read a review that said this helped give the sauce better flavor)
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery salt (I substituted the celery salt for Lawry's seasoning)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 can tomato soup
1 C water (I used a C of V-8 juice instead for more flavor)
1 egg (I read several reviews of this recipe that suggested adding egg to help the meatballs hold together)

Combine the rice, onion, green pepper, apple juice, egg and hamburger.  Mix in the seasonings.  Shape into 1-1.5" balls.  Combine tomato soup, worch., and V-8.  Pour sauce into bottom of 11x7 pan.  Place balls in pan and spoon sauce over them.  Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Enjoy!  

Now that I've made this once, my advice is to definitely use pre-cooked rice.  The stickiness of the rice helped the meatballs stick together.  The egg was also a good addition for the same reason.  I read somewhere that you should season these like you would a really good hamburger, thus the reason I substituted Lawry's for celery salt.  I think the sauce could stand to be a little less, maybe only half a cup of V-8.  The flavor was very good however and Travis really liked these way more than I expected him to!  So, I think they will probably show up in the rotation again soon!  Maybe next time, I'll try a different sauce...I ran across one recipe that used cream of mushroom soup, beef broth and mushrooms.  I think that would be great too.


Pam said...

I love porcupines. When I was in the 5th or 6th grade I had to cook a complete meal for my girl scout cooking merit badge. I learned how and cooked porcupines(a recipe my mother fixed alot). I don't have my recipe with me but mine calls for chilli powder. I do cook them with uncooked rice and the rice always gets tender if you cover the dish while cooking. If you forget the cover the rice is a little crunchy.
Little Miss Ava is getting cuter by the day. She'll probably be crawling by Christmas and trying to pull up on the Christmas tree. How fun.
Pam Cruce

Jessica said...

Those are some of my favorites from my childhood. My mom called hers "porcupine balls" but all she used for the sauce was brown gravy. They are so good! And she makes them HUGE so they only make like 4-5 per batch.

quilly said...

I make this with minute rice. It is the only thing I use minute rice for. AND, I am so going to try apple juice. I already do the V-8.