Juicy and plump meatballs made with beef, pork and rice are baked in a creamy tomato sauce. The carrots, onions and garlic make the sauce even more flavorful and is the perfect gravy to serve over mashed potatoes, rice or pasta.
- 3/4 lb ground beef (chuck, steak)
- 3/4 lb ground pork (shoulder)
- 1/2 cup rice, partially cooked (1 1/2 cups leftover rice)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2–3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 2 onions, chopped or sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, warm
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 Tablespoon dry herbs (any spices, herbs, any combination that you like)
- fresh herbs, chopped, to garnish (parsley, dill, thyme, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Partially cook the rice. I usually bring the water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Form meatballs into approximately 2 Tablespoons each. Place in a rimmed baking pan, 9 x 13 inches.
- You can use a portion scoop to make it easier to form the meatballs, or use your hands. Moisten your hands every once in a while so the meat mixture doesn’t stick to your hands.
- For the cream sauce, melt butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until the carrots soften. Add the tomato paste and flour to the center of the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until it’s completely incorporated into the carrots and onions.
- Pour in part of the chicken broth and whisk to combine. Gradually add the rest of the broth. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the vegetables soften.
- Take off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Season to taste with salt, ground black pepper and dry herbs.
- Pour the cream sauce over the meatballs.
- Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meatballs are tender. Garnish with fresh herbs.
Keywords: beef, pork and rice meatballs, meatballs in a cream sauce, tomato sauce for meatballs, Russian meatballs, porcupine meatballs