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camping porcupine meatballs

Make Ahead Camping Porcupine Meatballs

Anyone who grew-up in the sixties with a stay-at-home mom will more than likely remember the Betty Crocker standard made with Campbell’s Tomato Soup.
This ain’t your mother’s recipe! These are great meatballs!

I love this recipe for camping because it is easy to make. If you have never seen a porcupine meatball in all its glory, you’ll quickly discover where they got their name. When you pull the lid off the pan you’ll see little balls of meat with quills coming straight out. Approach with care! Not because these quills are difficult to extract, but rather because you can’t get enough of these spiky delights! Serve with rice, potatoes, salad, fresh vegetables or crusty bread.

camping porcupine meatballs
Camping Porcupine Meatballs


1 ½ pounds ground beef
½ cup uncooked instant rice
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 eggs beaten
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
14½ ounce can stewed tomatoes
12 ounce bottle or can of beer
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons flour
¼ cup cold water

Add some more sass! Spice it up with more garlic, chipotle pepper hot sauce, cumin, cilantro, red pepper, your favorite salsa or sprinkle with pepper jack cheese when serving. Be brave with flavors! After all you’re staring down a bunch of “porcupettes.” That would be the word for baby porcupines. The results are only as tame as the cook!

1. Mix the ground beef, rice, onion soup mix, eggs and chopped jalapeno pepper, in a bowl. Roll the beef mixture into 8 to 10 meatballs.
2. Combine tomatoes, beer, chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar in a cooking pot. Heat to boiling over medium heat.
3. Place meatballs into hot tomato sauce carefully. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Lift out meatballs and if desired, thicken sauce with 3 tablespoons of flour mixed with a ¼ cup of cold water. Stir flour mixture into simmering sauce until desired consistency.

Oven Directions: Place meatballs in a greased square baking dish, 8X8X2 inches. Mix sauce ingredients; pour over meatballs. Cover with foil or lid and cook in 350° degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer to brown.

Crockpot Directions: Brown the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes at 425° degrees before transferring them to the slow cooker. Cook in the sauce on high for about 2.5-3 hours. An easy meal to prepare in a camper or at home. Perfect with a salad and warm garlic bread.

Camping Directions: Bake the meatballs at home and freeze. At the end of the day, grab the meatballs from the cooler or camper fridge, using a camping stove stir into bubbling tomato sauce. Cook until hot to serve.

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