As you all know, I’m a big fan of Food Network – USA & UK – and although I don’t usually copy the recipes, I do use them as inspiration. And I learn lots of tricks and new techniques along the way!!! So this time I’m showing you my version of a recipe cooked by the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) which I decided to call American meatballs with mushroom sauce. As a side dish I made my much loved Rice with peas
I really like the type of food Ree Drummond shows on her show. Although sometimes it’s a bit too American, I like the way she presents and explains some dishes which I don’t know so well. Because of her I started cooking a lot more Tex-Mex food and I even got inspiration for some desserts 🙂
In the case of my American meatballs with mushroom sauce, the original recipe didn’t include mushrooms. And there was also some sort of American spice mixture which I couldn’t find here. But I still liked the way she cooked them so I had to try it even if I ended up making it my way.
It seems like every country has their version of a meatball and a few like to say they invented it. This is what I found out: that no one knows how the meatball was first invented 🙂 The meatball may have its origins in Persia, where the need to do something with leftover meat led to a dish called kofta. From Persia, it spread throughout the Middle East and hence to China. Venetian traders are said to have brought the meatball to Europe.
What the meatball is made of depends on the country and the availability of meat. The Chinese, for example, used pork, though they also pioneered the use of fish in their meatballs. People in the Middle East and North Africa, on the other hand, preferred lamb for their meatballs. The famous Italian meatball, can be made of beef or pork or a combination of both. The Swedes developed their unique style of meatballs, smaller than elsewhere, and served with cream sauce. Americans prefer lean ground beef for their meatballs, conditioned as they are by hamburger culture. The invention of the meat grinder eliminated the need to use leftover meat to make meatballs. This allowed people to use fresh meat for the first time to prepare them.
American meatballs with mushroom sauce
- 1 kg minced beef
- 3/4 cups breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup brown mustard
- 1/4 cup ketchup + 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp beef cube
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire + 1 tbsp
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 onion halved & sliced
- 2 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 egg
- Flour as needed.
- Minced fresh parsley
- 250 g fresh mushrooms sliced
- In a bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, mustard, ketchup, beef cube, egg, salt and pepper. Knead until completely combined.
- Form into medium-sized balls and roll them into flour. Shake the excess flour and set aside on a plate.
- Heat a large frying pan and add 2 tbsp of butter.
- When melted, add half the meatballs and gently move around the pan to brown. Seat aside and repeat with the rest of the meatballs.
- In the same pot, add the onion and cook for 3-4 mins, until golden brown and soft.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of beef broth and the cornstarch. Set aside.
- Add the remaining beef broth (2 cups) to the pan with the onion/mushrooms. Add the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard. Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and the meatballs to the pan.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 mins or until the meatballs are cooked and the sauce is thick.