Porcupine Balls

Porcupine Balls

Porcupine balls have been a favorite of Dave’s since he was a kid. His mother  allowed her kids to choose their birthday supper and it was always his pick. Porcupine balls are easy to throw together as well as make a double batch and put some in the freezer for a later time.

The recipe doesn’t call for Ketchup on the top, but Dave likes to have some on the top.  Guess what this gal does when she makes this recipe!

The key to this recipe is to make sure you bake them long enough so the rice is completely done. It’s not fun to put a bite of porcupine balls in your mouth when the rice is not completely baked.

When I make these, I do a double batch and put half the balls into zip-lock bags in the freezer. When I’m in a bind for supper, I grab one of those bags, toss them into a casserole dish, and pour the tomato juice on top.  Half-way through baking, I baste the balls with the juice and then put some ketchup on the top.

Since this recipe has rice and bread in it, I usually serve non-starchy vegetables with it.  However, it goes well with mashed or fried potatoes.

I got this recipe from Dave’s mother, and it’s also in the Mennonite Community Cookbook. Here’s the link.

 

The recipe

Porcupine Balls

My Windowsill
A mini-form of meatloaf with rice mixed in - hence the name "porcupine" balls. Simple to mix up and make. Double easy when you double the batch and store some in the freezer for another meal.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions
 

  • Crumble bread and soak in milk
  • Add beaten egg
  • Combine other dry ingredients
  • Then add dry ingredients to the milk/bread/egg mixture
  • Shape into 8 balls and put into a greased casserole dish
  • Pour tomato juice over the balls
  • Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours
  • Baste during baking, and you can add ketchup on top if desired

Porcupine Balls

porcupine balls

porcupine balls

Porcupine balls are one of my husband’s favorite dishes. I got the recipe from his mom, who probably got it from The Mennonite Community Cookbook  or from someone else. When it came to me, it was hand-written, so who really knows where she found the recipe?

This recipe can be mixed ahead of time and shaped into the balls, then frozen and put into a freezer container. Then when you want to serve them, put them into a pan and allow to thaw for a few hours. So simple and easy. I’ve never met a child who didn’t like these porcupine balls. The rice hidden in these balls is what gives them the name, I think.

You’ll think you’re adding too much tomato juice, but by the time the rice has cooked in the hamburger, most of it will be absorbed. Then, by the time you allow the balls to sit for a few minutes, the juice will be gone.

porcupine balls
Pre-baking . I know, they don’t look so great. Trust me.
porcupine balls
The finished product – it tastes better than it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

porcupine balls

Porcupine Balls

My Windowsill
Balls made with hamburger and some rice as well as other seasonings. Bake for 90 minutes in tomato juice. Add your own seasonings
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 medium-sized onions chopped
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 quart tomato juice
  • garlic powder - optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Crumble bread and soak in milk
  • Add beaten egg
  • Mix all other ingredients (except tomato juice)
  • Shape into 8 balls and place in a greased casserole dish
  • Pour tomato juice over the balls
  • Bake for 90 minutes at 350

porcupine balls