The days might be longer now, but there is still enough of winter’s chill in February and March to make this recipe especially welcome on a cold, windy evening. Why meatballs? Economy for one and for another, kids who are fussy about eating chicken or beef will nearly always eat meatballs. Hurrah for healthy hemoglobin! This particular recipe was chosen because it seems to be very versatile. You can make this stew from scratch as listed or substitute store-bought ingredients, like frozen vegetables and ready-made meatballs, or how about vegetarian ‘meatballs?’ Add spices for an ethnic twang then cook on the stove or in a slow cooker. Serves 6
Ingredients For meatballs
- 1 lb. any lean ground meat
- 1 onion
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup cooked rice, cooked quinoa or bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried, crumbled oregano
- 2 Tbls oil of your choice
Mix above in food processor (chop onion first if you make the meatballs by hand). Shape into 18-24 uniform meatballs and brown in the oil in frying pan or Dutch oven.
- 2 cups any broth
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 medium carrots cut into 1” pieces
- 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 28 oz. can tomatoes, juice and all
- 1-3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper or for additional flavor add garlic and some basil
Drain most of fat from Dutch oven and sauté second onion. Then add all remaining ingredients including meatballs. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to maintain simmer until vegetables are tender. (Frozen Veggies usually cook up much faster than fresh). 30-60 minutes.
Or allow meatballs and sautéed onion to cool then add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.