Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dark Days: Porcupine Balls

I saw this challenge to cook a totally local meal once a week from November through March and thought, sign me up. The challenge is to use SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) ingredients.
So here is Sunday dinner today, with the recipe for Porcupine Balls from The Mennonite Community Cookbook following. Except for the green salad, this is a rather typical Mennonite Sunday dinner!

Green salad, with local lettuce, arugula, radishes, and carrots (vinaigrette had nothing local, sorry to say).

Baked Corn with local organic corn from my freezer; local milk, local eggs.

We also had pickled red beets, that I canned this summer from local organic red beets. And finally, the Porcupine Balls, made with all local organic ingredients except the rice and my homemade organic bread. The beef was raised on grass by a friend of ours, butchered by a local Amish butcher.

Porcupine Balls

Crumble (or use food processor) 4 slices bread and soak in 1 cup milk
Add 1 egg, breaking it and mixing together.

Chop very finely (I use food processor):
2 medium onions
2 stalks celery
few stalks parsley

Add the vegetables to the milk mixture along with
1 lb. hamburger
1/4 cup raw white rice
1 tsp. salt
few grinds pepper

Mix thoroughly with hands. Form 8 balls roughly the size of a baseball. Place them just touching each other in greased casserole with not much room to spare (smaller than a 9x13 pan).

Blanket the balls with 2 cups tomato juice or puree.
Bake at 350 for 1.5 hours.

Until we got snowed in and church was canceled, I had planned to put these on time-bake so I mixed everything the night before with the exception of the rice. In the morning I added the rice, formed the balls, and dumped on the tomato puree.


Anonymous said...

Your porcupine balls were good, I should know, I ate two. Dad

Anonymous said...

And don't I wish I had been there eating! Did you deep-six the ketchup? Every recipe I've ever seen has ketchup. I dunno. Tomato sauce seems kind of liberal.


Margo said...

What do you mean, "every recipe"?? This is the only one I know about and Mom and I were discussing it!
Now a cold porcupine ball sandwich with ketchup. . .oh yes.