Sunday, January 4, 2015

Beef Porcupines

I wax nostalgic now and again, and when I do, I find myself rummaging through my mother's old recipe box looking for comfort in the form of food from my youth. 

This recipe goes back to the mid-seventies. I'm not sure where mother got it initially, but I do remember typing it up for her on this recipe card when we got a new script font ball for the old IBM Selectric typewriter (remember those?).  It was touching to see that she still retained it after all these years (particularly when she far preferred her own handwritten copy). I remember really liking these as a kid, but then anything even remotely burger-like was sure to please me back then. 
Based on the culinary experience that I have gained over the past decades years, I took a few liberties when I made them today and found them wonderfully comforting. I asked dad if he remembered mother making this dish, and he did, so I have some set aside for him as well. I'll be curious to know whether he still finds them as soothingly satisfying as I did.

 Here is my personal updated version.

Beef Porcupines

1 pound ground chuck
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 package beef flavor Rice-a-Roni
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups hot water (or mushroom water from reconstituting mushrooms that has been strained through cheesecloth)
½ cup red wine

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chuck with beaten egg, steak seasoning, and the vermicelli from the Rice-a- Roni package, setting the seasoning packet aside.  Shape into medium-sized meatballs (I found it made15).

Heat olive oil in a 12 sauté pan over medium high heat.  When oil is shimmering, add the meatballs.  Reduce heat to medium and brown on all sides.  While meatballs are cooking combine the seasoning packet, hot water (or reconstituted mushroom water – I strongly encourage this as you will be needing the mushrooms later in the week for another recipe), and red wine, whisking mightily.  Pour over browned meatballs.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  If desired, thicken juices with a mixture of 1 teaspoon cornstarch, blended with 2 teaspoons of cold water.

Despite the inclusion of rice, these are quite tasty served on a mound of hand whipped potatoes with a side of sautéed fresh string beans.

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The Quintessential Magpie said...

These do sound like comfort food! And the rice-a-roni takes me back, too. I don't believe that I have heard of Montreal Steak Sauce, but it sounds like I should give it a try. Love the cute recipe card on which this was typed.

Hope you and your dad enjoy your mom's recipe. I love how food brings the ones we love into remembrance.


Sheila :-)

Marigene said...

Those meatballs look delicious...I never would have thought to use is going on my shopping list.
I love your mother's recipe box!

Linda said...

I do remember the script ball. Mom used to make these - we always had a box of Rice-a-Roni handy. Funny, I thought she invented the recipe. :)

Rattlebridge Farm said...

Your post takes me all the way back to my mother's kitchen. I love when recipes have that kind of magic! Your meatballs look delicious and heart warming. Happy 2015!