I hope you enjoyed my last recipe post, because here’s another! And it’s one of my favorite comfort foods, super easy to make, and freezes well – what’s not to like about this meatball stew?
One of my absolute favorite things to cook (which happens to be super easy), is meatball stew. Just like most of my other recipe favorites, I make enough to feed a small army then freeze whatever I have left after a day or so. The best thing about this particular recipe is that it’s super difficult to screw up, which means it’s perfect for all of you who manage to burn water! I’m just kidding (or am I??), but it is seriously super easy to make. You can even substitute the ground beef for ground turkey to make it “healthier”. So what am I waiting for – let’s get cooking!!
Here’s everything you need:
For The Meatballs:
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (I’m using lean ground beef)
- 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 2 Tbs finely chopped parsley (I use fresh but dried is fine!)
- 1/2 Tbs cajun seasoning
- 3 Tbs minced garlic (I like a TON of garlic, so add as much or as little as you like!)
- 1/2 Tbs Freshly ground pepper
- 1 egg (whisked up)
- 1/4 cup unseasoned break crumbs
For The “Stew”
- 1/2 cup each of chopped green bell pepper and chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 4 Tbs minced garlic
- 2 Tbs chopped parsley (again, I use fresh but dried is fine)
- 1 Tbs cajun seasoning
- 3 Quarts (12 cups) beef broth
- Salt to taste (I don’t add any)
- 1 cup brown roux (pron. roo)
For The Roux
- 1 cup flour (pref. AP)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
Step 1: Chop Yo’ Veggies
If you haven’t realized by now, the “cajun trinity” of green bell pepper, onion and celery (with some green onion and parsley) is found in almost every single recipe I use! And while down here in Louisiana I can find pre-chopped quart containers of the mix EVERYWHERE, some of you Northerners aren’t as lucky. Because I find it everywhere even big box stores like Sam’s and Costco!), I generally buy in bulk and freeze so I always have some on hand. And I’m lazy, and hate chopping onions, and cook with this stuff a lot, so for me it makes sense.
** As a side note, for a quick onion chopping method, be sure to check out my Cooking Basics post. **
But for all of you that aren’t starting with glorious pre-chopped veggies, you’re first step is going to be chopping them! Try and keep all the onion and bell pepper pieces the same general size for even cooking.
Step 2: Make Your Meatballs
In a bowl, combine all your meatball ingredients listed above and mix thoroughly with your hands or a spoon.
Once thoroughly mixed, carefully form into meatballs slightly smaller than a large egg and place on a sheet pan lined in foil. Once all your meatballs are formed, pop into the oven that has been pre-heated to 350 for about 10 minutes. You’re just trying to get them to brown on the outside and firm up before putting them into your stew to finish cooking!
Step 3: Start Your Roux
In addition to finding those pre-chopped veggies, we can also easily find pre-made roux. Which is fine if you need a ton of it, but for smaller stuff like this, I prefer to make my own. It is a form of pride for a southern woman to know how to make (and rock) a roux, pronounced roo (rhymes with do), which I can toot my own horn and say I definitely can. I haven’t burned one yet! But for all you newbies out there, while a light roux (like in my shrimp and corn soup recipe) is pretty hard to mess up, a dark roux is realllllly easy to mess up.
So. While you’re waiting on those meatballs, start making your roux. Add your oil and flour into your pot and cook on medium heat. You need to constantly be stirring the mixture. If you don’t, your roux is very likely to burn, which is no bueno. Can’t have burnt-tasting stew! So be sure to constantly stir, and continue to cook until mixture is a dark caramel color. By the time your meatballs are done, your roux should be just about ready!
Step 4: Starting The Stew
By now your meatballs are done in the oven, so just put them aside for now. Add to your beautiful roux all the veggies for the stew itself and stir/cook on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add in your garlic, parsley and other seasonings and mix thoroughly.
Once you can smell that delicious garlic, turn down the heat to low and slowly add in your beef broth. I use a bouillon mix, so I just add in my water and the appropriate amount of bouillon and I’m good to go. Be sure to slowly add in your broth while you’re stirring your vegetable and roux mixture! This prevents chunks. If you do notice some chunks of roux, grab a big whisk and whisk it a bit to break them up.
Step 5: Finishing The Stew
Once your broth is all added, you can add in your meatballs. Careful when you’re plopping them in that you don’t splash yourself with hot liquid or cause the meatballs to break up. Once added, cook for another hour or so, letting it stew away. Occasionally stir (gently to make sure you don’t break up those meatballs!) to make sure the meatballs aren’t sticking to the bottom. After about an hour, your stew should be slightly thick and meatballs nice and cooked, but tender. It’s ready when your meatballs are floating! Before you dig in though, be sure to skim off some of that oil that’s now floating on top.
Serve over rice with a nice chunk of hot crispy bread and enjoy! This is seriously one of my absolute FAVORITE recipes, so I really hope you all enjoy it! And if there are any southern recipes you’d love to see, be sure to mention it below or email me!
So what do you think? Does it sound and look delicious?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!