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Carmelized Cabbage & Porcupine Meatball Skillet

Called porcupine because you make your beef meatballs and add raw rice to them and the rice sticks out like a porcupine's quills. They originated during the Great Depression when rice was cheap and meat was hard to come by. The women would mix the rice in with the beef to make the meal go a bit further and puff up the meat to hide the fact that there wasn't much beef. I can't believe how much food this is.

This is the recipe for the meatballs

Ingredients for Porcupine Meatballs:

1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce

1 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


1. In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in oil; drain. Combine tomato sauce, water, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce; pour over meatballs. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.



This is the Recipe and Ingredient list for the Cabbage.

Recipe is by Melissa Clark of the NY Times:


¼ cup tomato paste

Small can of Hunts Tomato sauce (this was my addition)

3 garlic cloves, finely grated

1½ tsp. ground coriander

1½ tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 medium head of cabbage

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

3 Tbsp. parsley


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Cut cabbage in half through core. Cut each half through core into 4 wedges.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, add cabbage to pan cut side down and season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining ¼ cup oil into skillet. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan (about 1½ cups), season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay). Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered and turning wedges halfway through, until very tender, liquid is mostly evaporated, and cabbage is caramelized around the edges, 40–50 minutes.

Cabbage & Porcupine Meatballs on a plate!


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