I have been making meatballs for years but always served them with jarred marinara sauce and pasta. The meal was delicious but way too filling and starchy. In fact, I'd almost always get sick because of the pasta! I wanted to try making a meatball dinner which was just as delicious, a little lighter and with a quick and easy homemade sauce. I like how the beef broth cuts the acidity of the tomato sauce. Also the sauce is really good with the rice and I like to dip my green beans in it.
1.5-2 lbs of ground beef
1/2 an onion finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves minced or put through garlic press
a small bunch of cilantro chopped (or parsley if you prefer)
1/4 cup of dry bread crumbs
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup of beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
extra light olive oil
Cook rice Raquel Style.
While rice is cooking, heat up a large skillet with some extra light olive oil.
In a big bowl, add the grown beef and season with salt and pepper. Add an egg, breadcrumbs, the finely chopped onion, minced garlic and parsley. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. If you have a husband handy, have him mush the mixture with his hands. It's fun!
When the oil starts to sizzle, start forming the meat mixture into small balls and add to the skillet. Do this in batches. I advise doing half first then the other half next. You can transfer the first batch to a plate or push them to the side.
Tip: If you want to check the seasoning of your meatball mixture, test out one very small meatball, cook it up and eat it. If it tastes good, make the rest. If not, adjust seasonings.
Cool the meatballs until they are brown on all sides. I like mine a little crispy. Don't worry if your meatballs are a little pink in the middle. They'll continue to cook in the sauce.
To the skillet add the beef broth and crushed tomato. Lower the heat so that the tomato doesn't spit everywhere! Stir and let simmer until the rice is done and the sauce is thick.
Serve with some steamed green beans and some cilantro on top. Enjoy!
Add some chopped chipotle en adobo (include the adobado sauce) to the tomato sauce for a smoky and spicy kick!
Replace beef broth with red wine for a very decadent flavor
Replace cilantro and onions with lots of finely chopped scallions