Saturday, May 23, 2009

Meatball Stew

As life has a tendency to go these days, I've been sidetracked the last few days from posting. It seems hubby needed to have a pesky tumor (which he lovingly named "Curly") removed from his spine today. We've been at the hospital since yesterday (and as I write I am still here), surgery is complete, and, with success, "Curly" is history. So, as hubby sleeps off the effects of anesthesia, I am back to work here.

Ah, meatballs....I love meatballs. There is something so hardy, so satisfying, so versatile about the meatball. And I am sufficiently lazy enough to not make my own. There are so many different brands of frozen meatballs to choose from, that I see no point in wasting  precious time gathering all the ingredients, mixing said ingredients, forming the balls, and then browning them. Most days I am pressured for time, so just let me cut open a bag and throw them into a pan to brown. As my younger students would say, "Easy, peasy. Lemon squeezie."

This recipe is for a wonderfully hearty, flavorful stew that totally hits the spot on a cool evening. We like to eat it just about any season, even in the summer. Although this is baked in the oven, we don't mind the extra heat in the kitchen. We have central air, so I am priveleged to cook whatever my little heart desires.  And my heart (and belly) desire this dish frequently. At this point I have 9 (yes, that may be a bit of overkill) Farm Journal cookbooks, and this recipe has appeared in at least 4 of them. That should be your first clue as to how good this is!


1 1/2 to 2 lbs. frozen meatballs (or you can make your own favorite recipe)
1-2 TBS. oil
3 TBS. flour
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried crushed basil
3 or 4 medium red or Yukon gold potatoes (wash but don't peel)
1  1/2 to 2 cups baby carrots
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery sliced

Brown meatballs in oil in a large hot skillet. Remove to a 3 quart casserole and drain all but 3 TBS. of fat from skillet.  Blend in flour. Add tomatoes and water and stir out any lumps. Stir in rest of the ingredients.  Bring mixture to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary. Pour over the meatballs in the casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until veggies are tender.

Notes:As I said, "Easy, peasy." Instead of using a skillet, I did this in my dutch oven, first on top of the stove and then into the oven. I didn't put the meatballs on the bottom. I just mixed it all together. Rolls and a salad and total meatball Nirvana.  Enjoy!


nath said...

my first time here, meat ball with carrot, potatoes.... delish and healthy ^^ it!

Sue said...

So, Karen; think I can do all of this in a slow cooker, too? How hot? How long? Any ideas?


Karen said...

I believe this would be totally doable in the slow cooker. I would probably just put the veggies on the bottom, followed by the meatballs and then the tomatoes mixed with maybe only 1/4 to 1/2 cup water with a little flour and the seasonings mixed together and poured over the whole thing. I think maybe 4-5 hours on high would do it. Long enough for the veggies to get tender. If I were doing it in the slow cooker, I wouldn't do any of the stovetop cooking at all. Let me know how it works out!