Recipe Du Jour: Comforting, Easy One-Pan Meatball Veggie Skillet

Meatball Veggie Skillet
Meatball Veggie Skillet

So, today’s recipe is a perfect recipe when you want something that is easy, doesn’t make a lot of mess and doesn’t require a lot of clean-up. This is a recipe passed down through my family, and it definitely speaks of all the traits we tend to like in American food. There’s meat, potatoes, and some veggies. And it tastes good too!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • about 1/2 cup of milk (use your best judgment)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp shortening, oil, or some other fat  (The original calls for shortening, but I just used a good cooking oil.)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced raw potatoes
  • 4 carrots, cut into about 2-inch pieces and quartered
  • 1 small package frozen peas
  • 1/4 to 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup water (maybe more if needed)

Directions:

Soak the bread crumbs in milk.  Put meat in mixing bowl and add salt, pepper, nutmeg, grated onion, and bread crumbs.  Mix well and shape into meatballs (try for 12, but it’s ok if there’s more).  Roll balls in flour.  Heat oil and brown the meatballs on all sides.  Add veggies and water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  If the pan seems crowded, remove the meatballs, put in the veggies and water, and then place meatballs on top.  Cover tightly.  Cook on low heat about 30-45 minutes.  Serve when potatoes and carrots are soft, but not falling apart.  Serves 4?

Tastiness Factor:

I grew up eating this at home, of course I think it’s tasty.  Specifically, the spices in the meatball keep them from being bland.  The nutmeg, especially, sounds like an odd spice to put in a meatball, but it works.  Most of the flavor in the dish comes from the meatballs, so everything else is less strong to balance it.  And it’s best when you can get some of the water from the bottom of the pan, because it acts as a broth.

Reheat Factor:

This reheats really well.  You can actually divide the portions, and then just pop it in the microwave with a little water.  Depending on how much moisture your meatballs soaked up while cooking, they may be soft and fall apart a little, but the flavor is still there.

Overall Impression:

This is one of my go-to busy night dishes.  Andrew makes the meatballs while I cut the veggies.  If you’re making it on your own, just cut the veggies first.  I will note that this is one of my grandmother’s recipes, and she tended to go heavy on the onion.  I’ve adjusted it above for what I use, but that may still be too much for some people.  I think this is a comforting dish, and with it being in one pan, it’s great on nights when I just want to be lazy and have comfort food.  For those who want to make it a little lighter, you could try other ground meats such as chicken or turkey.  I haven’t, but I wouldn’t expect it to be much different.  I recommend pairing with a salad to get even more veggies in.

Nutrition Facts (from here): 449 calories, 15.3g fat, 4.2g saturated fat, 35.2g carbohydrates, 6.4g fiber, 41.1g protein
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